California bans schools from using “Redskins”

They’re still the football team in our nation’s capital but there will be no “Redskins” in California.

Gov. Jerry Brown Sunday signed a bill that prohibits public schools in the nation’s largest state from using “Redskins” as a team or mascot name. Many Native Americans consider the moniker an offensive racial slur.

But while California may be an opinion leader in entertainment, environmental issues and car design, it may not dissuade D.C.-area fans who remain emotionally attached to the name.

In a 2014 study by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, by a margin of more than 3 to 1, Virginia voters said the Washington Redskins should not change the team name.

Overall, 71% of voters supported keeping the name, which has been challenged as racist, while 21% said it should be changed. Asked if the name is offensive to Native American Indians, 68% said no, and 23% said yes.

“It’s hard to find 71 percent of Virginia voters agreeing on anything,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy. “But support for the Redskins’ name clearly draws together people of different political stripes who would otherwise be at crossed swords, like it draws together members of the General Assembly from different parties.”

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly said he will “never” change the name and has ignored suggestions that he simply change it to the Washington Rednecks, a modification that would require only a few letters.


About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.