Oddsmakers think that the Washington Redskins may change their name. Let’s capitalize on this opportunity to profit.
BLM Props Washington Redskins New Name If Changed
- Presidents +300
- Generals +400
- Lincolns +500
- Memorials +500
- Americans +600
- Veterans +700
- Capitols +800
- Roosevelts +800
- Kings +900
- Monuments +1000
- Jeffersons +1500
- Arlingtons +2000
- Hogs +2500
- Snowflakes +50000
- Trumps +50000
An Unexpected Betting Opportunity
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You can access this bet not by going to the Football section of BetOnline’s betting menu, but to the Politics section. This bet is under Politics Props.
Historical Background: What Is A Redskin?
Probably the central idea spurring the objections to Washington’s team name is that “redskin” is a racial slur. Conventionally, one regards red as a term that European colonizers popularized in order to designate Indians or Native Americans (Shoemaker 625). On this view, redskin is a sort of linguistic violence enacted by Europeans who placed “the redskins” beneath whites in their racial hierarchy. Calling a team “the Redskins” may thus be viewed as perpetuating this linguistic violence and the white supremacy supposedly supported by it.
Interestingly, historians like Nancy Shoemaker have pushed back against this standard explanation, regarding it as Eurocentric in that it places the power of designation centrally in the hands of Europeans. Shoemaker claims that, actually, available primary source evidence indicates that most Europeans described Native Americans as “tawny” and other non-red colors (Shoemaker 629).
Instead, Native Americans themselves popularized “red” as a self-descriptive designation, in order to distinguish themselves from other-colored peoples. Still, obviously, non-Indians have appropriated these designations, sometimes submitting them to derogatory ends, sometimes popularizing them for their own purposes. Whether the term Redskin is somehow white supremacist, an instance of cultural appropriation, or genuinely inoffensive, the debate remains heated.
Will The Redskins Really Change Their Name?
Washington’s football franchise already has a long history of encountering heated demands that Washington should change its name. Over the years, picket-carrying protesters, letters from congressmen, and so forth have expressed their ire. But it seems like only now there exists a real possibility that the Redskins change their name.
The key feature of today’s outrage is that objectors to the name are threatening to hit team owner Dan Synder where it hurts: his pocket. Shareholders and investment firms have demanded team sponsors FedEx, PepsiCo, and Nike that they end their relationship with the Redskins. These demands are powerful because the people and entities making them are worth over 600 billion dollars. Simply stated, money talks.
Black Lives Matter Organization
As both the historical background and current rhetoric indicate, the objections to the name Redskin stem from its allegedly offensive nature. What makes the name offensive to some is that it supposedly constitutes a racial slur. This explanation is surely strengthened by the Black Lives Matter protesters, who strive to call attention to the systemic racism that they allege to exist. Companies — including Nike — have expressed support for BLM.
So, while some Native Americans raise objections perhaps for their own reasons, we may safely consider the current ire to derive primarily from the BLM agitation. This reasoning is fully compatible with the fact that only now, amidst the ascending power of BLM, the Redskins seem like they will really change their name. Dan Snyder had always insisted on keeping the name.
Going Through The Options
It is crucial to keep the role of BLM in mind when going through the possibilities being offered by NFL oddsmakers. Black Lives Matter also favors the destruction of statues and monuments of historical figures whom they deem to be white supremacist primarily because of their association with slavery. Given what we know about BLM, we can therefore rule out sundry possibilities.
Presidents, Generals, Americans, and Veterans are not options because some of them count as white supremacist. Jeffersons cannot be an option because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Besides, Jefferson is also the name of a high-ranking Confederate — Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederate States. There are memorials and monuments of so-called white supremacists. So these cannot be options.
Kings cannot be an option because King George owned slaves. Plus, the name simply seems too ironic in what one may consider the home of American democracy. I do not think Lincolns is a possibility because Abraham Lincoln explicitly rejected the notion of racial equality in one of his presidential debates. While public perception of Abraham Lincoln nevertheless remains positive, I think Snyder will now want a name that is as uncontroversial as possible.
Capitols is not an option because the Capitol is publicly associated with white supremacy due to its recent collection of Confederate statues and commemorations. Besides, the name seems too starkly reminiscent of Washington’s hockey team, the Capitals. Roosevelts cannot work because Teddy Roosevelt counts as an extremely controversial figure given his overt attitudes towards race and colonialism. His statue, in fact, is being removed from the Museum of Natural History.
I think Arlingtons could work. But it doesn’t seem like much of a team name. Besides, Arlington is in Virginia while the Redskins play in Maryland. So the team doesn’t have much of a connection to Arlington. While many Redskin fans live there, one can say the same about a ton of other cities.
With my politics pick, I am going with the Hogs. This is an inoffensive name that satisfies today’s conditions of political correctness. Prominent objectors to a name change, like franchise legend Bruce Allen, complain that a name change would sever the link between historical Redskin teams. But Hogs would be the best option to repair this link because the Hogs were the nickname given to Washington’s offensive line in the 1980s and 1990s.
Hogs is already current for this historical reason. You can see many Redskin fans today wearing hog noses, for example, in order to vivify the memory of this historical element and translate it into the present. Clearly, Hogs would be a popular option as it vociferously resonates with Washington’s fan culture.