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If the Washington football team’s controversial name is, in fact, a tribute to Native Americans, as team owner Dan Snyder has suggested, then maybe the team could just as laudably be called the Washington Rednecks—a now-derogatory word that was once used as a more complimentary term for striking coal miners.
At least, that’s the argument that Sirius XM radio host Joe Madison tested out today on his show:
If [Pigskins] is not insulting than rednecks is not insulting, so change the name to rednecks… Here’s what you do: you get an emblem, instead of an Indian, you get an emblem of a white guy with snaggletooth and, you know, long, stringy hair, and we can call the team the Washington Rednecks…
You know how the name redneck got started? The coal miners had a fight, they had a fight with the government, they wanted better wages. There was actually gun fights, I mean, massacres took place, governments against miners. They would wear red handkerchiefs around their necks to identify themselves, that’s how the term Rednecks got started. So, excuse me, it’s a word of honor; Isn’t that what y’all telling Native Americans? So, hey, Snyder, perfect example, if they don’t like the word [Pigskins], fine, screw the Native Americans, call ’em Rednecks.
Snyder has defended the name of the team, saying it is actually meant to honor Native Americans.
Listen to Madison below:
Illustration by Carey Jordan