When is it said to be right, to be politically correct?
In recent months and weeks there has been an ongoing debate , that quite literally few members of the public are said to be interested in. The NFL franchise , the Washington Redskins have been the center of an ongoing debate concerning the organization’s name, use of the word “Redskins” is seen as an affront to the Native American tribes , that were in fact the first inhabitants of the country.
For team owner , Daniel ‘Dan’ Snyder and specifically the NFL hierarchy , the issue has been rarely broached or addressed in full and become a matter of public debate in any type of forum. The print media, merely seeks to make this, their issue of the moment, as when they see fit and rarely have they sought to discuss , other issues such as the ongoing lack of funding provided to the Department of the Interior , who in fact are directly responsible for dealing with Native Indian issues , nationwide . Bear in mind also , the ongoing rise in crime, lack of employment opportunities, education, collegiate educational opportunities , but overall, actual direct medical care to many of the tribes on many of the reservations nationwide. Yet, here we are, in the midst of an issue using the word Redskins, which is said to be deemed derogatory among Native American Indians ? How insane is that meant to be?
The Redskins’ franchise, through no fault of their own, have been caught within the midst of this debate with the organization being criticized on all fronts, most notably with former PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay III , becoming a vocal opponent of any type of association with the NFL franchise, albeit, that Snyder, has made every effort to make use of his wealth to aid a number of Native American organizations with charitable donations and directly with programs aimed in educating children from various tribes nationwide. I believe this discussion, to blurred on so many levels, because the league itself , has no wish to be part of this ongoing progress. At the same time , if using the word Redskins is a said to cause Begay , himself a Native American Indian, , such distress. Then why has he not shown similar outrage, with the usage of the word, ” Seminole ” , as it relates to the use of that word in the naming of the Florida State Seminoles ? Granted , with regard to the Seminoles and the use there as it relates to the collegiate program , there also seems to be an ongoing dialog there , that has yet to be fully addressed on a national level, but for the moment , it seems to be overlooked and to be playing no part of the ongoing debate concerning the Washington Redskins.
Courtesy of USA Today
By Erik Brady, USA Today Sports
Notah Begay Associated Press Rick Portnoy
The Notah Begay III Foundation pulled its support from this weekend’s Arizona golf tournament to benefit scholarships for Native American students when it learned the title sponsor was the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.
“I find it underhanded and despicable that the Washington football team would co-opt this event,” Crystal Echo Hawk, NB3 foundation executive director, told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “As soon as we found out about their involvement we withdrew our support.”
Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner and an analyst with the Golf Channel, is Navajo, Isleta Pueblo and San Felipe Pueblo. He is a longtime critic of the Washington team name, which he called “a very clear example of institutionalized degradation” on ESPN last year.
Echo Hawk, who is Pawnee, said the NB3 Foundation was asked in February to donate silent auction items for a golf tournament to be held in Chandler, Ariz., this month; the foundation donated golf apparel.
When she found out Friday that Saturday’s event was sponsored by the NFL team’s foundation, she called the radio station that asked for the donation. Echo Hawk spoke to Tony Little, general manager of Arizona radio station KTNN, and demanded that NB3’s name be removed from the event officially called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (OAF) 1st Annual KTNN Celebrity Golf Tournament.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, has not seen fit to immerse himself in any part of the ongoing dialog concerning the Washington Redskins and the issue of the franchise’s name , albeit it , that the subject, concerns one of the NFL’s most prominent teams, and one which draws a fan-base beyond the greater Maryland area , rather than it simply being close in proximity to the nation’s capital. Personally, I believe that the commissioner tends to be only drawn to battles that he believes that he can win , while his image and that of the league’s remains intact ! Here , it might well be the one real subject , that Roger Goodell may well feel, that no one can actually be victorious in. Yet, without his offering up any type of public comment, either directly from himself or from a spokesperson within his office , we will never know how he views this ongoing debate.
The idiocy here, does appears to be, that while Notah Begay seeks the Washington Redskins to bear some responsibility for what he believes to be some type of slight over the name of a franchise, that has been existence for over seven decades , but yet somehow he has not seen fit to question the lack of opportunities provided to his people by the US government , that comes by way of the Department of the Interior , headed by Sally Jewell . Be it the budgetary constraints placed on Jewell’s agency by the government or the very fact , that there is said to be high levels of corruption within the upper echelons of a number of Native American tribes, with regard to the disbursement of the revenues from the casinos, that were built on tribal lands, of which those profits are meant to be used on welfare programs for per capita , within the Native American population. Somehow, what oversight there is meant to be , by the DOI ,through the National Indian Gaming Commission is either nonexistent , or those heading that specific entity, are in collusion with those behind the ongoing corruption .
If Notah Begay can seemingly overlook that issue, merely to shift the focus from something that is far more acute and prevalent within his race . Then clearly, as a spokesperson for his people, he is doing them a great injustice and disservice with this current stance. Failures by a federal agency, are being overlooked , in order, that a subject, now being broached, albeit, that the echoes of that matter , is now being joined by other tribes, who feel , that now is time for the Redskins’ organization to discuss the issue of a name change. Either, they are completely happy with their treatment, as being meted out by the federal government , while having nothing better to do, than to now seek some type of recourse from a sport’s franchise, which in no way, was it responsible for their plight, as it now stands .
Mike Shanahan’s failures last season as the head coach of the Washington Redskins, were greatly magnified with the team falling apart at the seams and their being no leadership shown on or off the field of play. As to the idiocy, that the team’s quarterback , Robert Griffin III bore a great deal of responsibility for Redskins’ poor season and their 3-13 record within the NFC East , that led to the firing of Shanahan and several members of his coaching staff from last season. Dan Snyder and GM Bruce Allen , simply had enough of the ongoing incompetency of the former Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders’ head coach and the very fact that he sought not to discuss many of the team’s woes during the season. Furthermore, from a defensive and offensive standpoint, the Redskins were found wanting in just about every aspect of their game. That being said, Shanahan’s dismissal , while being viewed as the best thing that could have happened to the Washington Redskins, his successor might not bring on the same sort of exuberance and joy as would be first thought. The hiring of Jay Gruden might well be seen as a positive in some circles , but in reality, it could end up being as big a mistake, as Shanhan’s original hire alongside that of son, Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator. Never mind the fact , that Mike Shanahan was among the highest paid head coaches in the NFL , earning a reputed $7 million a year .
At the time of his firing, Shanahan , was still owed two years on the remainder of his five-year contract. Way too costly a mistake , for the type of incompetency shown by head coach in 2013. What might be even more exacerbating for the Redskins’ fans, was the very fact, that the team was coming off a postseason appearance and a divisional title in 2012 , with a belief that in 2013 , there would be a marked improvement in terms of their on the field performances . Instead, beyond the injuries , regression, lack of leadership and a lack of coaching acumen, all having played a part in the Washington Redskins’ fall from grace.
While Jay Gruden, has proven to be a great coaching assistant, having held several positions around the NFL during the course his career , as well as serving under his brother, now an ESPN analyst and commentator, Jon Gruden . It must be said, his being placed into the cauldron of being the head coach of one of the league’s more high profiled teams will bring about a great deal of scrutiny and with that a great deal of expectation . Jay Gruden, is likely to bring about a more aggressive style of play, with a more pass oriented offense , playing to the strengths of Robert Griffin III. However, with the team’s acquisition of DeSean Jackson, to go alongside incumbents , Alfred Morris, wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan . The running and receiving game of the Redskins should see greater visibility this upcoming season than was witnessed in 2013. Defensively, the team will also have to show great deal more resilience than shown through much of last year , where the secondary left a great deal to be desired. For defensive and offensive coordinators, Jim Haslett and Sean McVay , their assessing the player personnel , will go a long way in determining, how Jay Gruden, is best likely to use his players this upcoming season.
While I have always believed, that NFL a franchise, should have a great backup to the starting quarterback. For the Washington Redskins, they should consider themselves extremely lucky, with the fact that they possess Kirk Cousins in that role. Cousins has proven to be a more than adequate substitute that position, but his ambitions are now, to be that of a starter and not in a secondary role to a player, he may well now be believe that he is now the equal of. Cousins, who was a fourth round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , a class deemed to be and have been one of the best crop of quarterbacks to have entered the NFL over the past fifteen years. With their now being rumors circulating, that Kirk Cousins is desiring a trade, as the opportunities to be or remain a starter, are likely to be greatly diminished with a return to health of Robert Griffin. It will be interesting to see whether or not this opens up an opportunity for GM Bruce Allen to use the backup as trade bait , to move up the draft ladder, to gain a pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, having forfeited their original number two pick to the St Louis Rams. Certainly, there are likely to be a number of teams around the league, in need of a player with Kirk Cousins’ ability to assist with their pass offense.If Bruce Allen were to get a mid-first round pick in exchange for Kirk Cousins , then I believe, that some team , would be amenable to such an offer !
There may well have been a lot of criticism leveled at Robert Griffin III last season , much of it justified , as the player never fully recovered from his injuries. Yet, there seemed to be no concern by Mike Shanahan or his son , offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan , to have the offensive line actually , protect the quarterback , who just happens to be the team’s most valuable asset and face of the franchise and their long-term future. Granted, RGIII did himself no favors, by trying to be the hero, when all that was being asked of him, was to simply be conservative and play error free football over the course of the season . Looking back , it was plain for all to see that the sophomore quarterback, simply forgot what made him such a blistering talent in 2012 , and during the Redskins’ somewhat short postseason run of that year. If it is, Griffin’s intent to lead the team back to where he believes they belong, under the guidance of Jay Gruden and his staff, then the player will have to definitely raise the level of his play, to position himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. The evidence was there for all to see in 2012 and I seriously doubt, that the former Baylor star would like to see a repeat of last season , once the 2014 Redskins’ season gets underway !
Picture gallery .
In light of the points raised within this article, what thoughts if any, do you have concerning the stance now being taken by Notah Begay III and do you believe them to be misguided or actually , correct ? Also, how competitive do you think that the Washington Redskins will be, this upcoming season and are they likely to pose a serious threat to the other residents within the NFC East ? Do leave a response on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject and thanks as usual for your continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slideshow details below.
(1) Native American Indians are seen here protesting in close proximity of Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland, the stadium in which Washington Redskins’ regular season games are played . Over the past five seasons , the strains of more tribes, thronging in support of this issue, has caught the nation’s attention , as well as that of the print and television media . However, the NFL hierarchy , has not issued a statement concerning the matter and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, simply has not discussed the matter at any great length in addressing the fans , press or members of any of the Native American tribes, voicing their concerns . Getty Images North America/ Ian Marks ….
(2) A late night vigil is held outside the Washington Redskins’ training facility in Richmond , Virginia by Native American Indians voicing their disapproval of the word ” Redskins” as the name of the NFL franchise . AP Photo / Isabel Hughes ….
(3) Washington Redskins’ owner , Dan Snyder, left , is seen here alongside the team’s general manager Bruce Allen as the two leave an official NFL function that discussed the scheduling of this past season’s NFL Superbowl staged at the Met-Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey . The tow executives are facing vocal opposition, with regard to the name of the NFL franchise which Native American Indians believe to be derisory and derogatory. Snyder has been very direct, in stating that the seven-decade old franchise will not make a name change, in light of the growing controversy. The NFL hierarchy have failed to discuss this matter directly , leaving it solely as a matter between the Redskins and dissenting Native American tribes. AP Photo / Chris Harper …
(4) Mike Shanahan , and his son , Kyle Shanahan are seen here along sidelines at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland during a regular season game last season . The pairing of father and son had a horrible season, as the 2012 defending NFC East champions fell apart , with the team ending their schedule with a 3-13 record in the division , and one of the worst records in the entire league in 2013. Both were dismissed by GM Bruce Allen, with the elder Shanahan still owed on the remainder of his then, existing contract. Kyle Shanahan has since rebounded , having signed on to become the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns , which is currently coached by first time head coach Mike Pettine . Getty Images / Rob Porter ….
(5) From left to right , PGA Tour golfer , Mike Weir , Notah Begay III , Dr Mathura Santosham , Center Director of American Indians Healthcare Partners in association with Johns Hopkins Hospital , Ventura Lovato , Manager of the Vision Center for Native Americans , Tiger Woods and Camilo Villegas . Begay has been very vocal in his opposition and the use of the word Redskin , as used and depicted by NFL franchise the Washington Redskins . In recent weeks the former PGA Tour golfer, has withdrawn his charitable foundation, NB3 Foundation’s sponsorship of a celebrity pro-am golf tournament, where the franchise’s own foundation was a primary sponsor . The Washington Redskins’ Foundation in years earlier, had been a large donor to the NB3 Foundation as well as a co-sponsor of a number of nationwide health initiatives by Begay’s foundation. Getty Images North America / Rick Maslin ………..
(6) Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is seen here being congratulated by her predecessor , Ken Salazar , as she began her term in 2012 during the second term of President Barack Obama . Jewell’s issues as head of this Federal Agency , has been one of dealing with rising crime on a number of tribal reservations , prolific drug use, among young teens, lack of educational opportunities at the collegiate level and that of widespread corruption within a number of Native American Tribes, as it relates to revenues derived from the gaming casinos. AP/REUTERS/ Max Sellars …….
(7) CLEVELAND OH,. DECEMBER 16th , 2012 . Injured Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) , left, and quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) sit on the bench late in the 4th quarter as the Washington Redskins defeat the Cleveland Browns 38 – 21 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland OH, December 16, 2012 . Cousins , now believes that he is ready to become a starter in the NFL , having substituted for Robert Griffin III during the times that the incumbent, was sidelined by an injury . Both quarterbacks were picks by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft , for which there several players at the position who were seen as top-notch talent . Griffin was the number two quarterback taken behind Andrew Luck, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts , that year . Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images …..
(8) Wide receiver DeSean Jackson , having been waived by the Philadelphia Eagles , the player signed with divisional rivals the Washington Redskins , a four-year $32 million deal of which $16 million was guaranteed money . Jackson hopes to be productive addition to the Redskins’ offense and a likely target of Robert Griffin in what may well be a pass-oriented attack initiated by new head coach Jay Gruden . AP Photo/ Tom Carter ….
(9) Jay Gruden , head coach of the Washington Redskins is seen here alongside GM Bruce Allen after the much-traveled assistant speaks to the convened press at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland , having agreed to succeed Mike Shanahan , who was fired by the organization after a sub-par season in 2013. Gruden an experienced offensive coordinator, hopes to make the Redskins offense more potent , with his being a strong proponent of a pass offense , but that is not to state the effectiveness of Alfred Morris will not be used to add variety to the team’s offense. Gruden inherits a team that struggled throughout much of last season , much to the dissatisfaction of the Redskins fans and the front office , of which team owner , Dan Snyder , demanded that changes be made, after a disastrous 2013 schedule . The dismissal of Mike Shanahan still leaves the Washington Redskins owing the much maligned former head coach about $9.5 million , including incentives . AP Photo / Michael Warren ….
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