The Pigskins Shame Spiral is an occasional feature tracking developments related to the name of D.C.’s beloved football team.
Who: John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Change the name? Yes. He referred to the Washington football team on air as the team “for-some-reason-not-yet-formerly-known-as-the-Washington [Pigskins.]
Why? On his show last night, Oliver played a portion of the powerful ad that a California tribe ran during an NBA finals game last week, urging the Washington football team to change its offensive name. Oliver then said it is increasingly hard to make an argument in favor of the team’s name and went on to play a mock ad of his own, which listed all the less-than-desirable things one can theoretically defend. Someone can argue, for instance, that Steven Tyler‘s “still got it,” that Philadelphia is the cultural capital of America, andthat Nancy Grace seems nice. But the Washington football team’s name? Not so defensible.
Shame Spiral rating: SMH. John Oliver graduated from the Jon Stewart school of political comedy, so his position on the Washington football team comes as no surprise. But in his HBO show’s short life, he’s already proven an ability to make his rants go viral, which means his actually compelling mock advertisement against the team name might reach a larger audience than even 50 senators’ signatures or a presidential denouncement. That said, Dan Snyder doesn’t seem to really care about what the president of the United States has to say, so there’s no way he’ll give a damn about what a British comedian thinks.