What’s in a Name?

With the year of 2020 coming to an end, we have 2 professional teams with their team’s nicknames in limbo, The Washington Football Team who hopefully will have a nickname next fall, and the Cleveland Indians who say they will have a new nickname in 2021. But why all the hubbub? I am not for derogatory nicknames or ones that may offend any group of people, but why are these names so prominently wrong here in the 21st century? Weren’t they derogatory 50 years or even 25 years ago? Most if not all people would say yes. But why now? Some would say it is from tons of pressure from not just the people who feel they are being defamed but many others as well. Are the Indians and Redskins the only names that are derogatory? Let’s take a look.

There are 3 more nicknames that could be derogatory to the same groups of people. First the Atlanta Braves with their Tomahawk chop. Truth be told, I thought that the Braves would be a bigger target than the Indians in Baseball. The Braves name, in my opinion, is far worse than Indians. The Braves are a fighting and raiding group of Indian and the Tomahawk and the chant, to me, the Braves are way worse than your standard, peace loving, indian. The next Indian name referenced is specific to a great Indian leader of the Sauk tribe. His name translates into Black Hawk. He never became a chief but a fierce warrior who was revered by his tribe, thus the nickname Blackhawks comes to be. The next nickname is straight forward, The Kansas City Chiefs. A chief is a revered leader of a tribe or nation of Indians. Using this nickname should not be too offensive but if we are removing one Indian nickname, in my opinion, we should remove them all. Another Indian nickname belongs to the Golden State Warriors. Warriors are considered brave and strong, fierce defenders of what is theirs. A name like the Chiefs that belongs to Indian nations not on the chest of Pro Athletes.

As we begin to move on to other nicknames that may or may not be offensive, I must say that I respect all Indian Nations and feel sorrow for how they were treated by citizens of our great country. This next part of our nickname journey hasn’t really been travelled. There is one more team in the NHL, The Canucks. Canuck is a very demeaning term to Canadiens when used by Americans. I could go through everyname and say the flightless birds of the great north may be offended but that would just be silly. And I am sworn never to use that nickname ever.

Onto baseball. For a long time, term Yankee was demeaning to anyone in the north. I guess this is the reason a team from New York would choose it. Over the years the term doesn’t carry much meaning and is only used in the south, usually after spend our money and leave. Being a huge baseball fan, if I were called a Yankee, I would be more upset that the person associated me with the baseball team than with the north. Up next is the Giants. Don’t the San Franciscans know there are small people in the world. Calling a team the Giants only makes the wee people more upset. Be careful as they can be fierce shin kickers. The last Baseball team is the Padres. I know San Diego is a big Catholic City but there are other religious denominations that like baseball and don’t forget about the agnostics, atheists and other non believing good folks, they won’t be buying uniform shirts.

There are a few more in the NFL and NBA but I think you get my point. Almost any name is going to offend someone, somewhere. I really do not think there was any malice behind selecting any forethought but neither was there any thinking about who the names could hurt. Also remember these names were thought up and applied to these franchises at a much different time in our Country’s history. There were good things and bad. Luckily we can correct these and move on.

One last thing, an appeal to owners. Please have the new name ready when taking off the old name. A year with the Washington Redskins being called the Washington Football club is embarassing. You need to have a name, something for kids, oops, children to follow. So owners please have a new name when you are ready to change names. We at Last Out Media prefer to be referred to as the Winners. Thanks and keep reading.

Leave a Reply