Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the Washington Redskins should keep their controversial name despite complaints from a few Native American groups and members of Congress that it is racist.
During a pre-recorded interview on Sirius XM’s show “The Arena“, Bush says he did not think the nickname is “offensive” to Native Americans. At the time Bush said, “The folks that make these decisions need to get out more often”. The interview airs Friday. “The team’s name is a racial slur that perpetuates negative stereotypes of Native American people, and reduces proud cultures to an insulting caricature”.
The former Florida governor added: “We had a similar kind of flap with FSU, if you recall, the Seminoles”.
With Washington’s NFL team off to a 1-2 start and losing key players to injuries, the team is once again pivoting from football squad to political cudgel. “I’m missing something here, I guess”, he concluded.
“I think it’s a private enterprise and they ought to have as much freedom to do what they want”, he said.
Recently, the governor has used offensive language to describe immigrants and he has denigrated America’s multicultural heritage. Now he is endorsing the NFL’s preferred racial slur against Native Americans. “He clearly is missing something”.
However, Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who gave $100,000 to a SuperPAC supporting Bush’s campaign, remains adamantly against changing the name. The Seminoles are a Native American tribe originally from Florida.
The Washington Redskins remain the most high profile sports team to continue to rely on a racially insensitive moniker and emblem.
That Native Americans “generally don’t find it offensive” isn’t true at all, but even if it were, it wouldn’t matter. This civil and human rights movement has helped reshape the debate surrounding the Washington team’s name and brought the issue to the forefront of social consciousness.