Washington Post sportswriter Barry Svrluga has long disliked the name "Redskins," which is a problem when you have to write about the team for a living. As a result, he came up with a solution of sorts: Refer to the full team name on first reference, then call it "Washington" from then on. "I was wrong to handle it that way, and it took the events of the past two weeks for me to understand that," Svrluga writes in a column at the Post. "Silence is complicity. Change the name." Svrluga is calling on owner Daniel Snyder to "look around at this broken country" and ditch the Redskins name out of respect for Native Americans. Yes, it's true that Snyder commissioned polls in 2004 and 2016 showing that most Native Americans weren't offended, but the world is suddenly a different place.
George Floyd "is dead, and in the 8 minutes 46 seconds it took to force the last breath out of him, the country changed," writes Svrluga. "In the light of everything we’re going through—everything that still must change—a football team’s nickname is minor." But it's still a change worth making, because the name is a stereotype based on skin color, and we just can't have that anymore. "How, in these times, do you raise kids in the nation’s capital, ask them to look at the pain and the strife racial injustice has caused in their hometown and their home country, walk them through steps they can take to make things better, and then have them Hail to the Redskins on Sundays?" he asks. "It’s so incongruent it makes your head hurt." Read the full column, which also raises a pragmatic case for the change. (Read more Washington Redskins stories.)