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MUHAMMAD: To Change Racist Team Name, Fire the Owner

Askia Muhammad | 11/13/2013, 3 p.m.
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder

The term “redskins” actually refers to the Indian skins and body parts – including genitalia – that bounty hunters had to show in order to receive payment for killing Indians, Suzan Shown Harjo told me. “To many Native Americans, the term ‘Redskins’ is associated with the barbaric practice of scalping,” Harjo said.

By contrast, another former Washington professional team owner with an offensive name, who changed his team’s name voluntarily, actually counseled Snyder, to no avail.

“Abe Pollin (the late owner of The Washington Wizards NBA team) personally at one point, let (Snyder) know that when he changed from ‘Bullets’ to ‘Wizards’ that he did not lose money, and that it was the right thing to do, and that he recommended Snyder change the name. He reported back to us that he would not do it, that he was adamant in his opposition to us,” Harjo said.

Which leads me to realize, that just like that bigot George Preston Marshall, whose lips were “dripping with the words of interposition and nullification” when he owned the team, this current owner is cut from the same hateful cloth, and that maybe the best way for the team to shed the bad karma it inherits because of its racist name, would be to “fire” the owner.