Post Sportswriter: Redskins Defenders on ‘Wrong Side of History’

Oh look, Mike Wise is making more pronouncements about history. History, as in sports history: records, achievements, seasons, etc.? He’s a Washington Post sportswriter, after all.

No silly. The Most Important Sports Columnist in the World, Ever, is again passing judgment on anyone lagging behind history’s inexorable march into the glorious progressive future. In other words, his knickers are in a twist because the Washington Redskins are still called the Washington Redskins, despite the howling of liberal journalists like Wise and a handful of Native American activists.

Wise and others at the Post, USA Today and other outlets (including Slate and Mother Jones – because who doesn’t go to far left sites for NFL news?) advertise their enlightenment by refusing to call the Redskins the Redskins. Instead they opt for “The Washington NFL team,” and other grownup appellations.

A California and Hawaii native who honed his self-regard for a decade at The New York Times before beginning his mission to convert the savages of Redskins Nation, Wise is good for nearly a column a month on the Redskins’ name. Alternately, he likes to spit disdain at anyone less than rapturous about openly gay athletes. Sometimes, he even writes about sports.

In his Nov. 2 column Wise declared NFL head Roger Goodell “on the wrong side of history,” for failing to pressure Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the name. “Instead, he met with Snyder to affirm their solidarity to profit off a slur and the next day sent his lieutenants to — get this — defend the name,” according to our sanctimonious scribe.

“Snyder needed a strong, progressive leader to silence him, not parrot him on this issue,” Wise wrote. (If ever he gives up pretending to be a sportswriter, Wise would make a boffo communications flack for the Obama White House.)

After a couple of paragraphs about how Mike Wise became such a finely tuned instrument of offense detection, he complained, “Too often, I get the old, ‘Can you stop trying to make me feel guilty about my football team?’ Mostly, they’re right. I have no right to tell you what you should be offended by, just as you have no right to tell me what someone should be honored by.”

While we can sympathize that the Neanderthals “too often” deign to register their disagreement with Mr. Wise, take a moment to wonder that there may be limits that even a moral Superman like Wise must acknowledge. Not that he means it. Every Wise column makes it clear that he believes wholeheartedly he is entitled to tell D.C. sports fans what they should celebrate and what they should revile. When NBC interviewed him in an October report on the name debate, Wise didn’t shy away from telling a national audience they should dislike the name. And every column drips with the author’s contempt for those who don’t listen to him.

One man will henceforth be spared Wise’s righteous wrath. “The days of making Snyder a cretin on this issue are done in this space. He is no longer the target; he’s just a figurehead with financial and emotional backing from the highest-ranking superior in his army.”

Snyder will probably he happy to hear that. But here’s a question: When will the days of making Mike Wise welcome in the press space at FedEx Field be done?

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture