The Washington Post has been an eager booster of the crusade to strip the name "Redskins" from the NFL, with crusading sports columnist Mike Wise even making it into NBC's crusading piece on Tuesday. In Wednesday's sports section, on page 2, there was a small bit of balance.
Former Chicago Bears coach and ESPN analyst Mike Ditka thoroughly trashed the idea of banning "Redskins" from football, comments made in a new interview with Mike Richman of RedskinsHistorian.com. Ditka called it beyond stupid:
What’s all the stink over the Redskin name? It’s so much [horse expletive] it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Brownskin?
This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.
It's been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. I mean, leave it alone. I mean these people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.
Richman suggested that non-Redskins fans and people outside the D.C. area are the ones driving the controversy about the team's supposedly racist name.
“It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is,” Ditka said. “It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey listen, I went through it in the Sixties, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous. Change the Constitution — we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.”
Richman then asked Ditka about Daniel Snyder’s efforts to defend the Redskins name.
“I admire him for it,” Ditka said. “Really, I think it’s tradition, it’s history, it’s part of the National Football League. It was about Sammy Baugh and all the guys who were on the Redskins way back then. I didn’t think that Lombardi and Halas never had a problem with it, why would all these other idiots have a problem with the name? I’m sorry. I’m not very tolerant when it comes to the liberals who complain about everything.”