Newspaper Cartoon Compares Washington Redskins to Nazis, Confederates
Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes a political cartoon in the New York Daily News attempting to change the name of a National Football League team that's not even in their city.
The illustration posted on Thursday featured three flags, the first containing the swastika symbol of the Nazis, then the star-filled banner of the Confederates from the Civil War, and finally the logo of the Washington Redskins with a caption that read: “Archaic Symbols of Pride and Heritage.”
While introducing a news segment on the “heated debate,” Matt Ackland -- a reporter for WTTG, the Fox TV channel in Washington, D.C -- stated that the cartoon was “raising eyebrows” and “couldn't look much worse.”
"Is this going too far?” Ackland asked. “Many would say ‘Yes.’ Still. the drumbeat for a name change continues.”
The reporter then showed a video of Rushern Baker, county executive of nearby Prince George's County in Maryland:
If it was me, you know, if I owned the team, I'd probably change it.
Next, president Barack Obama was shown saying “I’d probably change it.”
In addition, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas charged: “It's an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent.”
Also chiming in regarding the team name was Lawrence O’Donnell. The host of the MSNBC weeknight program Last Word said that “Redskins” is racist because it was “invented by white guys” in 1933.
However, according to an article in the Washington Free Beacon, George Marshall -- the owner of the team that was then called the Boston Braves -- chose the name to honor coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, who was purportedly of Native American descent.
Ackland continued his report by asking:
But does it really matter what leaders and broadcasters say? The Washington Redskins are one of the most profitable teams in the league. In 2011, Forbes magazine ranked it Number 2 with a value of more than $1.2 billion.
“They say in business ‘money talks,’” the reporter noted, “but as leaders and broadcasters are talking, as far as we know, the ones holding the purse strings aren't.”
“FedEx Field today is covered with advertisers spending big bucks,” he continued. “We reached out to several of them to see if the team's name bothered them.”“We understand that there is a difference of opinion on this issue,” a statement from FedEx read.
“However, we believe that our sponsorship of FedEx Field continues to be in the best interests of FedEx and its stockholders.”
A statement from the Audi automobile company indicated:
We have no comment. We are supporters of the Redskins because they are members of our local community.
“Bottom line,” a representative for the Virginia Lottery said, “we are not involved in any discussion with them about the team name.”
In addition, a spokesman for the Redskins said that FedEx stockholders were asked to vote on the name issue and severing ties with the Redskins over it, but stockholders overwhelmingly said “No way.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, the Washington Post has dedicated at least 31,562 print and online words to its year-long crusade of trying to force the Redskins to change their name to something more politically correct.
Earlier this month, liberal National Public Radio Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep joked that there are “better names, scarier names” like the “Washington Debt Limits.”
And just last week, Robert McCartney -- the Post's former Metro section editor -- took part in a project to come up with an alternative to the team's current name, which included the “Washington Warriors” and the “Washington Redtails,” a nickname for units of the Tuskegee Airmen, African-American pilots who gained fame for fighting in World War II.
Even though Redskins owner Dan Snyder has declared that he will never change the team’s name, the Richmond Free Press announced on Thursday that the weekly newspaper, which is primarily aimed at the city’s African-American community, was “expunging” the team’s nickname because it’s "insulting to Native Americans and divisive."
Of course, if liberals with too much time on their hands and members of the tiny Oneida Indian Nation succeed in getting the Redskins’ name changed, what other sports teams are next? The Cleveland Indians? The Atlanta Braves? The Kansas City Chiefs? The possibilities for extracting sports fans’ fun are endless!