Is a sports team’s nickname offensive? You make the call….literally.

There’s been a lot of press over the past few years regarding the nicknames of sports teams.  National sportscaster Bob Costas last Sunday gave his two cents on the whole thing and labeled the nickname of the pro football team out of Washington D.C. “offensive”.  I laughed to myself because there are a lot more offensive things which come out of Washington DC than the NFL team’s nickname.

I know…I’m sort of an oddball. I believe in treating people the way I want to be treated, in opening the doors for people, yielding my spot in line for someone with less items than me and when someone contacts me to reply back (well, until you get the smiley face reply which is shorthand for “okay Paul…you can shut up now”).

I am also odd in that I put on my right sock, then my left one and then my right shoe, and then my left (right one on first puts you in the right frame of mind, I always tell myself). I choose to do this every time I get dressed because I have the free will to do so.

What I’m getting at here is we CHOOSE whether we like something or not, whether we do things the way we do them or if we find something offensive or not. You may find the name “Redskins” offensive to Native Americans. Another person may feel the nickname is not offensive but instead is a tribute. I find the phrase “Huck the Fuskies” offensive but to those who are Oregon and Wazzu fans it’s quite funny.

Furthermore, the issue here is not whether something is offensive or not, it’s who finds it offensive and also what position the person is in. I found this out the hard way when I coached Little League. Because I got a little bit fired up at times I offended some people and because I was asked to step down from coaching I figured there were a lot of people who found me offensive. Come to find out, it was only a couple of people who found me offensive but they were both very strong willed about it and in a position of power so their voice had more resonance.

Where I sit from the cheap seats all of our votes should count the same, and the volume of the voice shouldn’t matter…the amount of voices should. The owner of the Washington Redskins has stated many times he’s not changing the nickname however I bet if enough people voiced their displeasure and stopped coming to games or supporting the team he’d listen.  Too often people fall behind a strong-willed person not because it’s what they truly believe, but they don’t want to incur the wrath of the strong-willed one and it’s easier to be a lemming. Don’t get me wrong, I love strong-willed people as I am married to one but don’t back down…dig your heels in and stand up for what you believe in if you’re not on board with what they are saying. People might not like you, but they will respect you and that’s the ultimate complement in our society today.


I am getting to the point where I’m going to start my own 1-800 betting service here soon. Unfortunately (because I was pulling for the Washington schools) I was 2-0 last week correctly picking both the road schools, Oregon and Oregon State, last week. I have gone round-and-round on the first game on the list, but this time I’m letting my bias influence my picks, which are as follows….

Washington 34, ARIZONA STATE 23 (I have gone round and round with this one, Huskies haven’t beaten the Sun Devils in Tempe in a looooong time but I think they can do it)

OREGON 55, Washington State 13 (Mark it down – Oregon, God help us all, is going to run the table and win the natty)

Oregon State 37, CALIFORNIA 17 (Beavs are picking up steam at the right time and offense is too powerful for Cal)

Last week: 2-0. Season: 21-2



Paul Williams

I am a sports nut who has tried to make the transition from athlete to athletic....err....supporter of my two children and their athletic endeavours. I am also a former sports reporter for The Arlington Times, Marysville Globe, The Skagit Argus and The Coeur d'Alene Press. Follow me on Facebook or on Twitter (@PDub4170).

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