The Pigskins Shame Spiral is an occasional feature tracking developments related to the name of D.C.’s beloved football team.
Who: President Barack Obama
Change the name? “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team—even if they’ve had a storied history—was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” Obama told the Associated Press. Watch here:
Why? Because the name offends “a sizable group of people” who “feel pretty strongly” about it. “I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” Obama said. For what it’s worth, he also said D.C.-area fans are quite loyal: “I don’t want to detract from the wonderful [Pigskins] fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so.”
Shame Spiral rating: SMDH. On the one hand, as Obama notes, he doesn’t own a football team, and thus gets no more say in this than, say, a local weekly newspaper does. On the other hand, he’s the president of the United States. The team felt compelled to issue a statement by Lanny Davis, a friend of and lawyer for owner Dan Snyder (and other wealthy individuals around the world) responding to Obama. “The name ‘Washington [Pigskins]’ is 80 years old,” Davis told the AP. “It’s our history and legacy and tradition. We [Pigskins] fans sing ‘Hail to the [Pigskins]’ every Sunday as a word of honor, not disparagement.”