Weekend poll: Who should the Kings start at shooting guard?

Leading Off: It's time to get rid of Redskins nickname

Published: Saturday, Jun. 29, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C

I've always been a fan of the Washington Redskins. They've never been my favorite team, but I've had a soft spot for them, mainly because of coaches like Joe Gibbs and George Allen, and Hall of Fame players like Sonny Jurgensen, John Riggins, Darrell Green and Chris Hanburger – tough guys, all. And then there's the new generation led by the exciting Robert Griffin III.

But I'm finding it difficult to root for the Redskins these days – because of the name. Let's face it, the term "Redskin" is a racial slur meant to demean American Indians, much like the N-word is used to disparage African Americans or the W-word for Latinos.

Consider that the original lyrics to the Redskins' fight song, written by the wife of first owner George Preston Marshall (an avowed racist), included: "Braves on the warpath, fight for Old Dixie! Scalp 'em, swamp 'em, we will take 'em big score." Yes, the song has been updated, but the theme is still offensive to many Americans, Native or otherwise.

Current Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was recently urged by 10 members of Congress and a District of Columbia councilman to change the name, but Snyder has rejected the notion, saying, "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER – you can use caps."

The NFL has weighed in, too, with Commissioner Roger Goodell saying the name was not intended to "denigrate Native Americans or offend any group." And 79 percent of people who responded in a recent poll said they favor keeping the name.

But how – in 2013 – can we continue to allow such an offensive and derogatory term to be used to represent a team in America's favorite sport?

Consider me a Redskins fan no more.

What to watch

Cycling, Tour de France, 4:30 a.m., NBCSN: If you're not up early enough to watch the first stage live, NBCSN will show it again at 8:30 a.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

What to do

Baseball, St. Louis at A's, 1:05 p.m., O.co Coliseum: Check out one of the National League's top teams without having to cross the Bay.

Weekend poll

Who should the Kings start at shooting guard?

• Tyreke Evans

• Jimmer Fredette

• Ben McLemore

• Marcus Thornton

• A free agent

• Other

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Thursday's results

Are you turned off by the arrests of NFL players?

• Yes, the league needs to do something: 72%

• No, I only care about the games: 28%

Total votes: 317

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Read more articles by John Lucero

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