Sports Teams Changing Their Names For Equality is Irrational

This worrying trend which started for no good reason is threatening sports and society as a whole.

Washington+Football+Team+game.

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Washington Football Team game.

Adviser’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this opinion article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the view of The Colt Chronicle Staff, Kinnelon High School, or its students and staff members.

A lot has changed in 2020. Sports are no exception to this. Outside of the obvious effects on them because of the pandemic, teams have also begun to change the names of their teams. This is a worrying trend and it has to be stopped for the sake of the future of sports, and society as a whole. 

This trend began in the wake of the death of Geroge Floyd, which resulted in race relations and diversity once again coming to the forefront of debate in the U.S.. Part of this debate was the controversial nicknames of some sports teams, namely, The Chicago Blackhawks of The National Hockey League, The Washington Redskins of The National Football League, and The Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball.

The Redskins were the first team to take action, with owner Dan Snyder saying in early July that the team would change its name. The Indians followed suit when they announced in early December of this year that they too would be changing their name. The owner of The Blackhawks has said that the team name is safe for now, but given the current trend, that could change any day.

My main issue with people who take offense to these names is that they don’t know the backstory to them. The Indians named themselves this in 1915 in honor of one of their players who was Native American. There is a similar story with The Blackhawks who named themselves as such in honor of a great Iroquois leader. Furthermore, a few years ago, the Redskins reached out to native leaders and asked them if their name was ok to use, and they said yes. So the fact that this has now become an issue because of the death of a person who would not be affected or offended by the name is a disgrace.

On the surface, the names are, let’s say, interesting. I could certainly see why people would take a special interest in these teams’ names and why they would want clarity as to where they came from. I have no problem with this. I do, however, have a problem with people who know the backstory to these nicknames yet still take offense to them. The people, put bluntly, are soft, spineless cowards.

This issue has the potential to not only affect sports but also society as a whole. If people are now getting offended at sports team names, then who’s to say they won’t get offended at snow being white, and not black? This worrying trend has limited itself to sports for the moment. If it does not stop, however, it could spread like a virus across all of society, and leave us with far more problems than we want or need. The only way to stop this trend is to act now and to act decisively, we only have one chance, so let’s make the most of it.