Nation Writer: Trump Candidacy, ‘Redskins’ Name Offer ‘A Howl of Anger at a Slowly Evolving World’

Donald Trump has been likened to (among others) Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, George Wallace, Morton Downey Jr., and Nickelback, the band. “Nickelback” is also a football term, which brings us to yet another Trump comparison: The Nation’s Dave Zirin believes that the Washington Redskins franchise “is becoming the sports equivalent of the Donald Trump presidential run, a dead-ender operation with nothing to offer but a howl of anger at a slowly evolving world.”

As you probably surmised, Zirin thinks Redskins owner Dan Snyder should dump the team’s “Jim Crow era moniker,” but acknowledged in a Wednesday post that “Snyder clings even more tightly to the name, molding a new constituency of newfound ‘fans’ who want the team to be a symbol of the fight against ‘political correctness’…Now this billion-dollar brand stands disgracefully alongside Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and everyone attempting to turn a carnival barker’s buck on white anxiety.

From Zirin’s piece (bolding added):

This team’s Jim Crow era moniker has survived into the 21st century precisely because this Walking Dead franchise has been so irrelevant if not unwatchable over the last twenty years…Imagine if they made the Super Bowl and the world had two weeks to debate and discuss this name. One could imagine a mass march on the Super Bowl, as dozens of Native American tribal councils would undoubtedly mobilize and converge on the big game, as feckless NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stammered excuses about how it’s “ultimately up to Dan Snyder”…

…Snyder clings even more tightly to the name, molding a new constituency of newfound “fans” who want the team to be a symbol of the fight against “political correctness”. The team is becoming the sports equivalent of the Donald Trump presidential run, a dead-ender operation with nothing to offer but a howl of anger at a slowly evolving world…

…This team, which has long survived by being supported by a majority black city and play their games in majority black Prince George’s County, seem content to play Trump and be divisive, ugly, and cruel to the fans that have loved them the most. These fans have said overwhelmingly in polls that they understand why Native Americans would be offended by the name and that Snyder should meet with the tribal councils and hear their concerns. Instead, he sneers at the very idea.

I wish I could say I was surprised but an experience in August told me otherwise…

In Ocean City, [Maryland], I saw several shirts which were as predictable as they were depressing. It was the symbol of the Washington football team emblazoned upon a Confederate Flag, with the phrase that unites them both, “Heritage Not Hate”…The team was named by its original owner George Preston Marshall, a segregationist who fetishized the Confederate south and made sure his team was the last in the NFL to integrate. Snyder has taken this franchise full-circle from its earliest days, when it was less a team than a political statement against a changing world…Now this billion-dollar brand stands disgracefully alongside Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and everyone attempting to turn a carnival barker’s buck on white anxiety...An organization with priorities like this doesn’t develop players. It consumes and regurgitates them. Robert Griffin III is a casualty of the priorities and the values of this franchise. He won’t be the last.

Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Culture/Society Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism Sports The Nation Dave Zirin Washington Redskins Dan Snyder Donald Trump


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