The Pigskins Shame Spiral is an occasional feature tracking developments related to the name of D.C.’s beloved football team.
Who: Two of the biggest elephants in the room right now: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb (!) Bush.
Change the Name: Nah.
Why? Quoth Trump in a New York Times story published this morning: “Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name unless the owner [Dan Snyder] wanted to.” (Capitalism!) You know you’re in trouble when a candidate who’s referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” volunteers to play defense for you. And last week, Bush—during an interview on Sirius XM—said, “I don’t think it should change it,” adding, “but I don’t think politicians ought to be having any say about that, to be honest with you. I don’t find it offensive. Native American tribes generally don’t find it offensive.” (Anyone notice how “honest” these guys say they are? Polls show their base seems to believe so.)
Shame Spiral Rating: In addition to the team, Jeb! and Donald get the middle finger for punting the pigskin: If either is truly prepared to be elected president—an outcome that may require a Hail Mary or two—they should have their own opinions about the Washington football team’s name instead of passing the buck to Snyder and his supporters. (The White House is located in D.C., after all.) As Change the Mascot, a campaign that opposes the use of the dictionary-defined racial slur in question says in a statement today: “Donald Trump joins some of the NFL’s ignoble fraternity of billionaires who sit in their office suites and owners boxes happily spending their fortunes denigrating people of color.” Honesty is the best policy.
Illustration by Jandos Rothstein