WashPost Writer Steers Daughter from Redskins Outfit for Teddy Bear Because of Team’s ‘Blatantly Racist Name’

Washington Post parenting writer Mari-Jane Williams took to the paper’s Thursday "Local Living" section to continue the paper’s advocating the name “Redskins” be stripped from the city’s NFL team through a conversation she had with her seven-year-old daughter after she wanted “to buy a Redskins outfit” for a bear she had at home. Upon hearing her daughter’s request, she told readers it was then that “we had to have the talk.” in which she told her “I don’t think so, honey. I think you should pick something else.”

Williams informed her daughter that the team’s name “has become a political statement, and not a good one” that is “an offensive word for a group of people” and she agreed that the team should change their name. 

While declaring that the team should change its “always been awful” name, she also somehow made room to lament that:

It’s too bad that a second grader wearing a shirt with a professional team’s logo on it has turned into a billboard screaming, “I like a team with my blatantly racist name, and my parents are okay with that.”

But it has, and we’re not. So we’re packing away T-shirts and hats. The hats that her grandfather had worn during games for years (for luck!) And that were lovingly passed on to her and her brother. Yes, the name has always been awful. Now, though, the people to whom the name refers are pleading for a change, and the ownership is steadfastly reusing to listen. Far more than it did 30 years ago, it now feels like proudly sporting that logo is no better than numbing your nose at those people and their feelings. Even when its’s a child wearing the shirt.

Nonetheless, Williams assured her daughter that rooting for the team and its players is still something she can do so long as “[w]e don’t want to walk around wearing the stuff, because that implies that we’re okay with the name, and we’re not.” 

Williams noted at the end of the column that her daughter told her "that she would like to see the team change its name to a mythical creature” and to which Williams said to readers: “Unicorns, anyone? I could get behind that.”


The news media’s crusade to pressure the Washington Redskins into changing its name is nothing new, whether it is announcers saying that they won’t use the team’s name to an MSNBC guest comparing the team's PR response to the outrage to North Korean propaganda or MSNBC’s Joy Reid warning viewers when she uttered the word Redskins. Even fifty Democrats in the U.S. Senate signed a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell demanding that the Redskins name be dropped.

The American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord pointed out in an August 2 column that this effort is coming from the same party that holds fundraisers across the country entitled the Jefferson-Jackson Dinners with one of those names being named after former President Andrew Jackson. It was Jackson who was notorious for being, “according to Native American activists - an Indian killer.”

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is a news analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division