The Skin Game

NFL’s Washington Redskins to change name following years of backlash,” runs the headline on a July 13 “ABC News” story. The team, owned by Dan Snyder since 1999, has not announced the new name and logo, but some ideas have been overlooked.

One can understand Native American objections to “Redskins” but those who want to clean up the name should be taking a harder look at the “Washington” part. Washington, D.C. is the only city where a politician such as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) can claim to be a Native American, specifically a Cherokee, for her entire adult life, and when the claim proves utterly false she can still run for president of the United States. 

Washington is the only city where a politician such as Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) can claim to have served in Vietnam and suffer no penalty when the claim turns out to have been bogus. Those who actually served in Vietnam do not take kindly to those making false claims about service, but a gig in Washington seems to offer special protection and privilege. 

For three years, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), claimed he had direct evidence that Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Robert Mueller proved that claim utterly false, but Schiff simply repeated the lie louder and more frequently and suffered no penalty. Washington is the only city where that sort of thing happens all the time.  

Also in 2016, former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed the 30,000 emails she destroyed were all about her daughter Chelsea’s wedding, yoga classes, and so forth. Washington is the only city where such a person could still run for president, with complete approval of the establishment media.

In a similar style, Washington is the only city where FBI and Justice Department bosses can collaborate together to attempt a coup against a duly elected president, commit actual crimes (such as altering evidence), and avoid prosecution. Should that be doubted, note that U.S. Attorney John “Bullshit” Durham, supposedly a man of great integrity, has yet to bring criminal charges against a single person. 

Back in 1976, a college student named John Brennan voted for the Stalinist Gus Hall, presidential candidate of the Communist Party USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union. Washington is the only city where such a person can not only get a job at the Central Intelligence Agency but eventually come to run the place. And so on. 

Maybe the Washington FBIs or Washington Deep State would more accurately reflect the nature of the city that is home to this NFL team. Besides, Washington is no stranger to name switches. The Washington Bullets, with the great Wes Unseld—best outlet passer in NBA history—dead-eye shooter Bobby Dandridge, and true “power forward” Elvin Hayes, won the NBA championship in 1978. Then in 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a close friend of Bullets owner Abe Pollin, was gunned down in Tel Aviv. 

Four days after the funeral, Pollin decided to drop the Bullets from the name. The new choices included Sea Dogs, Dragons, Express, Stallions, and Wizards, which got the call.  As NBC Sports noted, “on top of the gun violence that took a close friend away from Pollin, Washington D.C. was in the midst of a terrible reign of drug abuse and gang-affiliated gun violence in the 1990s, marking it as one of the most dangerous, and deadly cities in the country.” That is still the case—and then some—so maybe Washington Bullets, in addition to having some name recognition, would be a more accurate replacement for the former NFL champions. 

While the Redskins mount a search, football fans should not rule out a name change for the San Francisco 49ers. California Governor Gavin Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, is on record saying that most evils in California took place after 1849, with the possible exceptions of the two terms of Jerry Brown and the emergence of Newsom’s swank PlumpJack Winery, catering to the landed gentry in Napa County. Maybe San Francisco Vintners or San Francisco Chardonnays would do the team more justice. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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