Making A Change
In sports, racism has blindsided the media in what may be a historical turn of events.
Let’s take a recap on Donald Sterling’s incident. First, Sterling was exposed through what would be called a “private conversation” recorded by his ex-girlfriend. The racial slurs that slithered through his teeth were contrary to established NBA beliefs. As a result, Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, banned Sterling and fined him $2.5 million, one of the highest fines NBA can give to a member of its organization.
The courageous move that Silver took has reopened an issue that has been hidden under the rug. Before Sterling’s shenanigans, there was the Washington Redskins. Many natives believe it is time to hang up this moniker due to its humiliating and degrading nature. It is like calling an African American, “Negro” or a Caucasian, “Cracker.” Regardless of a person’s ethnicity, terms that are used to categorize skin color are OFFENSIVE!
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, has been procrastinating with the issue and it has gotten the attention of Senator Harry Reid from the state of Nevada. Sen. Reid believes that just as the NBA Commissioner put an immediate end to Sterling’s disrespectful racism, Goodell needs to follow suit. What will it take to eliminate what has been called a “league of bigotry and racism?” What will it take for this change to happen if Goodell continues to ignore this racist controversy? This franchise name has been around since the 1930’s, but is it really worth the humiliation of many people?
According to a poll on SportsNation, 70 percent of the voters believe that the Washington Redskins should not change their name. This is a bit disturbing because it seems that people are disregarding a multitude of Native Americans who are obviously hurt by this offensive slur.
But wait, does this mean that 70 percent of people who voted are racist or are they unaware of the damage that is happening? Or, can it be that people are insensitive to the issue because it does not really concern them, and they could care less of what the name should be? Native Americans just want to be recognized for who they are, people, not “redskins.” Is that too much to ask? So who can rise above this neglected issue?
Luckily, there has been a gathering of people that Roger Goodell cannot avoid. 50 state Senators (including Harry Reid) have written and signed a letter that has been submitted to the NFL. These influential leaders may be capable of causing an impact in the NFL that might send a message to not only the league, but to every sports organization in America or even the world. And, hopefully, this will change the perspective of owner Daniel Snyder who believes that his team’s name is a minute issue.
“We understand the issues out there, and we’re not an issue. . .the real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it’s time that people focus on reality,” said Snyder according to the Associate Press. Reality is this is an issue. It is inconsiderate to ignore and put off what people feel. This country does not have revolutionary leaders who stand up for just one race, but for all! We live in a generation where equality matters and none should be segregated by what they stand for, nor who they are. So, do they over throw Snyder from his position or fine him? Regardless, actions will need to take place to eliminate the bigotry of racism in sports!
Franklin Lebron (on FB), tgifrankg (Twitter)