With the National Football League's new season just around the corner, fans of the sport are beginning to revive hopes that their favorite professional team will go all the way and win the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014.
However, that's apparently not the case with Rachel Maddow. Instead, the host of a weeknight program on the liberal MSNBC cable channel is unhappy with the Washington Redskins, whose name she called so “painfully racist” that she referred to the team as the “R-Words.”
Maddow began the Monday evening segment by pointing to the “resolute civility” of Samoan congressional delegate Eni Faleomavaega, which she had called “the best thing in the world on this show a few weeks ago.”
The liberal host then stated that at the time, she didn't note why the congressman was addressing the House.
Turns out that he was speaking out about this: the name of the Washington, D.C., football team, which he refers as the “R-Word” because their full name is “painfully racist.”
“Getting the Washington 'R-Word' NFL team to change their name is one of his major efforts in Congress,” Maddow continued. “He's asked the team owner and the league to change the name.”
After his requests were turned down, Faleomavaega introduced H.R. 1278, a bill that would end trademark protection for the team name on the grounds that the word “has been demonstrated by overwhelming linguistic and historical evidence to constitute a disparaging epithet insulting to Native Americans persons, or peoples, or both.”
The liberal host continued: “Where he's from -- American Samoa -- also happens to send a lot of star players to the NFL, which they're very proud of.”
But pitting “their congressman against the NFL is like David against Goliath if Goliath had steroids and David had corn puffs to throw instead of rocks,” she noted.
After admitting that “this is a vertical uphill fight,” Maddow said: “I can tell you tonight that Mister Faleomavaega is getting somewhere, real progress at this point.”
Just what “real progress” had been made? The MSNBC host proudly stated:
Yesterday, the website Slate.com announced that they would no longer refer to the Washington NFL team by their “R-Word” name Their decision prompted the editor of the New Republic to announce that they, too, would stop using the name. Today, the folks at Mother Jones said no more “R-word” for them either.
At that point, Maddow admitted that “yes, those are all lefty publications you might expect, but as Think Progress points out, the list of objectors already includes mainstream newspapers like the Kansas City Star, and the list is growing.”
Yes, Maddow considers the enlistment of one “mainstream newspaper” in the cause as “getting somewhere.”
She then added that all this activity is taking place “just as another NFL season begins. In Week 1, the Washington 'Why-Don't-They-Change-Their-Names?' beat the Tennessee Titans by one point. Tomorrow, the Giants play the Steelers, on Sunday the Bills play the Colts.”
The liberal host concluded the segment by stating:
Happy Football Season, everybody, and I hope your team has a name you can say without wincing.
Andrew Johnson of National Review Online responded by noting: “I'm sure the 160,000 fans on the Redskins season-tickets waiting list don't have that problem.”
“Political correctness can actually be quite funny,” Michael Miller of the Independent Journal Review said. “Sometimes, downright hilarious,” as in Maddow's newfound disdain for the “Redskins” name.
“Yeah, I’m sure rabid Redskin fans the country over wince every time they talk about their beloved ‘Skins,” he stated.
“By the way, Rachel, I’m anxiously awaiting your take on the Cleveland 'I-Word' as well,” Miller added. “Beware, Indians fans.”
Why should Maddow stop with that professional baseball team? Shouldn't the same standard be applied to the Atlanta Braves?
And what would happen if animal-rights activists join the fray? Would that be the end of such NFL team names as the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos?
Thankfully, such political correctness run amok is being nipped in the bud by Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, who said in May that he “will never change the name of the team. … It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”