EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

May 29, 2014

Letter: Senators have no say on Redskins' name

To the editor:

I am amazed that 50 senators of the United States have the time to send a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demanding that he inject himself into a matter that does not require any input. The Washington Redskins have been the Washington Redskins for a goodly number of years and if political power is used to force a name change, then we are in deeper trouble as a freedom-loving country than we have ever been before.

I would like to suggest that no amount of reparations can be made that will relieve the atrocities committed against Native Americans. When the Western frontier was being opened to the developing invasion of settlers — white, black and any other color that had the courage to forge into unknown territory — we stole from and murdered many Native Americans. We did this with the full blessing of the U.S. government.

Yes, that was in the past and this is now, however consider: When we intruded on the Native Americans, we took their lands by eminent domain for the good of the country. We used forced marches to take them away from their native lands and if they resisted, we raided their villages and killed women and children along with men.

The owner of the Washington Redskins is a man — he may or may not have Native blood, I don’t know and could care less. I do know that he bought and paid for the team. He pays the salaries. He pays the taxes. He hires or fires as he sees fit.

How does a U.S. senator from California, New York or Rhode Island have the right to tell an owner of a company in Landover, Md., to change its name because he or she finds it offensive? What or who will be next? Maybe the Chicago Blackhawks, or the Andover Warriors or any other team or company that might have a Native American hint to them?

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