The New York Times is reporting that the N.F.L. franchise in Washington, D.C. has re-named itself the Washington Commanders – a long overdue, if not ridiculous name change.
The change follows the M.L.B. franchise in Cleveland changing their name from the Indians to the Guardians, removing Chief Wahoo as their mascot. Again, this change was long overdue (but unlike the Washington Commanders, a totally dope name/brand).
Real, gradual change
I understand that change takes time – especially with mutli-million dollar franchises participating in billion dollar leagues. However, the pace of change has picked up in recent years thanks to activists' hard work and determination.
The New Republic has a ranked list of the most racist sports team names, and, to absolutely no-one's surprise, they're almost all appropirating Native American names or traditions.
Here are the worst offenders in three different professional sports leagues in the United States:
Kansas City Chiefs (N.F.L.)
- Like the Atlanta Braves (below), the Kansas City Chiefs fans still do "The Chop" at games.
Atlanta Braves (M.L.B.)
- Still do the Tomahawk Chop at games; on full display at the 2021 World Series.
- At least had the good sense to retire mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa in the mid-80s.
Chicago Blackhawks (N.H.L.)
- Say that they can get away with the name because it's not really named after Native Americans while using this logo? Really?