In today’s Washington Post Columnist Mike Wise writes about a principled stand by former NFL referee Mike Carey. It seems that well before the name of the Washington franchise became a major controversy, Carey requested that he not be assigned to officiate their games. The year was 2006. Now, eight years later, CBS is officially and publicly allowing its on-air team the discretion when referring to the Washington team.
What I wonder is if and when the television networks that carry NFL games will refuse to broadcast the Washington games. They likely won’t do this on their own volition. There will have to be more support from the public for such a boycott before the network chiefs stiffen the backbone.
What I wonder even more is if the NFL Players’ Association will take the lead on this issue of a team having a name that is now considered a racial slur. Even if we can all agree there was likely no malice intended toward Native Americans when the Washington franchise was named over eighty years ago, there is poison in that name now. It’s time to change the name, yesterday.