Photo: NBC Sports
As the calendar switched from October to November, the NFL moved from pink for breast cancer awareness to camo for military appreciation. And the peak of the camo movement was during yesterday’s Veterans Day games, a schedule that did not include either of the NFL’s two teams with Native American nicknames, the Redskins and Chiefs.This is the one week this season in which the Washington Redskins will not play a game. And considering the history between Native Americans and the military in this country, some in the NFL offices may have been concerned about the image of a team named “The Redskins” honouring the armed forces. Then again, it hasn’t stopped the official Redskins website from being draped in camouflage.
While the NFL’s other team with a Native American nickname, the Kansas City Chiefs did not play on Sunday, they will play Monday night. Then again, the Chiefs use a lot less Native American imagery than the Skins. And the team’s name was derived, at least in part, to honour the city’s former mayor, who was nicknamed “Chief.”
Of course, maybe it was just a coincidence that the NFL’s only two teams with Native American nicknames were not playing on Veterans Day. But if the NFL wants to avoid the conflicting imagery, maybe they should force the Redskins to change their name, and drop what may be the most racially insensitive nickname in sports.
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