After a long-running battle in which they took a strong stand against political correctness and bullying from the mainstream media and a small minority of supposed spokespersons for all Native Americans, the Washington Redskins announced Monday that they would be dropping both the Redskins name and logo, with a new name and logo to be decided on and revealed at a later time:
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 13, 2020
You’ll note that in their announcement the first group the Redskins noted they wanted to keep in the loop on their decision-making process was not the fans or the community, but their sponsors. Because threats from their corporate sponsors (who received pressure from the woke bullies mentioned above) along the lines of not selling Redskins merch and/or refusing to continue sponsoring the team is ultimately what led to this decision.
In any event, regardless of how one feels about the way the NFL organization and the individual teams have conducted themselves in recent years on domestic violence and drug issues and kneeling during the National Anthem, there was a lot of disappointment expressed yesterday by people who respected the Redskins – including even non-fans of the team – for previously refusing to cave in the face of media/left-driven pressure to change their name and logo.
The backstory on how the logo was created, which was reported Monday by WUSA9, just makes it all the more disappointing that they’ve chosen to drop it:
Washington’s logo has been an Indian chief since 1971. It was designed by Native American Walter “Blackie” Wetzel to depict a member of the Blackfeet tribe.
Wetzel grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and was eventually elected president of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C.
He was instrumental in the Redskins franchise logo change from an “R” to the current depiction of a Native American.
According to Wetzel’s son, Lance, the logo is not offensive, but rather evokes a sense of pride.
“Everyone was pretty upset (about the change),” Lance Wetzel said. “Everyone understood the name change we were all on board with that. Once they weren’t going to use the logo, it was hard. It takes away from the Native Americans. When I see that logo, I take pride in it. You look at the depiction of the Redskins logo and it’s of a true Native American. I always felt it was representing my people. That’s not gone”
The Redskins logo is a picture of John “Two Guns” White Calf, a Blackfeet Chief who also appears on the Buffalo Nickel.
Lance Wetzel also told WUSA that though he was disappointed the team was no longer going to use the logo, if removing it meant people would stop holding “derogatory feelings toward any person” because of the logo and name then he was okay with the change.
Another family member, Jake Wetzel, is also sad to see the logo go:
Jake Wetzel, one of the younger Wetzel family members, is currently pursuing his master’s degree in social work from the University of Montana.
Much like his uncles, he recognizes that times are different than when the logo was introduced in 1972, but he knows a lot of native people who take pride in wearing the logo.
“It truly shows who my people are,” he said. “It would be really sad to see it go because the NFL is such a big platform and that gives the blackfeet tribe recognition.”
Though it’s unclear when the next NFL season will start and what it will look like, my bet is that most Redskins fans show up to their home games wearing their old jerseys in a show of defiance. After all, it wasn’t the fans nor the community who took issue with the logo. Nor, as a 2016 Washington Post poll suggested, did most Native Americans.