Team names and the thought police

The self-appointed heads of the volunteer thought police (people who were previously known as “sports writers” in a more innocent time), have decided that they will no longer refer to Washington DC’s football team by the team’s actual name, Redskins.

I thought it would be fun to go through the remaining 31 NFL team names and try to guess how many of the names will eventually be deemed too-politically-sensitive for hyper-hysterical sports writers.  Without further ado . . .

Dallas Cowobys – Cowboys were not nice to Indians, excuse me, Native Americans.  If you can’t name a team “Redskins” you certainly shouldn’t be able to name a team after their oppressors.

Philadelphia Eagles – This name is not-so-veiled reference to nationalism.  This name probably makes immigrants feel excluded and offended.

Green Bay Packers – I can’t believe a name this homophobic has survived this long.  Surely, this name will be the next to go.

Minnesota Vikings – Might as well be the Minnesota Ayran Nation.

New Orleans Saints – The name “Saints” probably offends Muslims already.  Plus, I’m sure their organization has taken public money, and thus any religious naming convention probably violates the separation of church and state.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – One man’s pirate is another man’s freedom fighter.

New England Patriots – Obviously this name suffers from the same problem as “Eagles.”

Kansas City Chiefs – One could argue that Chiefs is a more respectable term than Redskins, but it seems too racially exclusive and any reference to Native Americans is highly suspect.

Oakland Raiders – See the entry on Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

By my count, that means 10 out of 32 team names are obviously offensive.  If we extend our analysis:

San Francisco 49ers – I don’t know much about the actual ‘49ers, but since they’re old and they lived during a time of slavery, they’re almost certainly racist.

Detroit Lions – There’s a sort of implicit racism associated with naming the team from a predominantly black city after an animal from Africa.

Carolina Panthers – Again, there’s a sort of implicit racism here, since panthers are black and the team is from the South.

Miami Dolphins – Dolphins will probably someday be given rights like people.  At that point, they’ll probably be a protected class – see entry on Kansas City Chiefs.

San Diego Chargers – I don’t know what this name means, but it appears to have something to do with electricity, the generation of which is causing global warming.  Enough said.

Baltimore Ravens – See entries on Detroit and Carolina.  This business of naming teams from predominantly black areas after black animals is starting to seem like sort of mass-racist conspiracy.  I think I’m on to something potentially huge.  (I wonder if this sort of analysis could be extended to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Jacksonville).

Houston Texans – This name relies on exclusionary language, which almost certainly offends someone who is not himself a “Texan.”

By my count that makes 20 of 32 teams that will have to change their name.


44 Responses to Team names and the thought police

  1. Chargers were the mounts of crusaders, and thus are offensive to Muslims.

    • oldmanchris says:

      Not to mention that the use of animals to perpetrate human war violates their rights, somehow, in multiple ways.

  2. asdf says:

    I hate Dan Snyder, but resistance on this whole bullshit idea is at least one point in his favor.

  3. Come now, surely you can do more.

    Steelers: Sounds like “stealers,” obviously veiled racial accusation of blacks in Pittsburgh

    New York Jersey Jets: Those bastards were racist in that one movie written by a homosexual where they got into choreographed dance-fights with a Puerto Rican street gang

    Cleveland Browns: Do I even have to say it?

    Tennessee Titans: More pan-Aryan mythology. The symbol may as well be a meandros. They could skip straight to the swastika. What’s next? Will the Vikings change their symbol the the Valknut?

    Denver Broncos: Why is the horse white? Racists.

    Indianapolis Colts: Obvious reference to malt liquor and notorious gang weapon. Racism.

    Buffalo Bills- Named after that cruel animal-hunter who killed a bunch of helpless buffalo

    Chicago Bears- Smear against gay hipsters

    Arizona Cardinals- More racism as the cardinal is not native to Arizona. The redness is meant to refer to the Navajos.

    I think there are four left. Anybody got anything on the Rams, the Bengals, the Giants and the Seahawks?

    • josh says:

      Steelers is a reference to the Pittsburghs historical association with the steel industry; a history that necessarily excludes Pittsburghs vibrant newcomers. A team name should represent *all* of the people in its community.

      I don’t know how Foseti missed Buffalo. Slipping.

    • Bert Derpski says:

      The Bengals of course brings to mind The Bangles and their famed 80s hit, Walk Like an Egyptian.

      As Jimmy the Greek has shown us, any reference to African people and the specifics of how their legs cause bodily motion is horribly racist.

    • oldmanchris says:

      No, New Jersey Jets is obviously short for “Jet Blacks.” More blatant racism.

      Saint Louis Rams: the dual references to Catholicism and wanton behavior is sure to traumatize victims of abusive priests… who were definitely pedophiles, not gays, you homophobe.

      A Latin-American studies professor I know always pronounces Chile as CHEE-lay–i.e., the “correct” way according to him. So, the Bengals is obviously going to offend Bengalis with the Anglicization of Bangla.

      I’m sure the Seahawk is somehow related to Northwest Indian religious beliefs. And Giants–obviously a pejorative term for sufferers of acromegaly. Duh!!

  4. Zimriel says:

    The Bangles will be okay. Wilson Phillips would be better

  5. Handle says:

    Not football, but the Kansas City Royals is an obviously Monarchist and anti-Democratic name.

    I find it more challenging to try and find team names than can’t be misconstrued as offensive according to today’s sensitivity criteria. Umm … the Cardinals? Astros?

  6. PA says:

    Kidding aside, is it common knowledge that the Baltimore team isn’t named after an arbitrary animal, but in honor of notable resident Edgar Allan Poe?

  7. PA says:

    I don’t know if this is true or not, but Redskins were originally a Boston team, therefore I always assumed they are named after the original Tea Partiers.

  8. cassander says:

    The eagles are named after the NRA Blue Eagle. The owners at the time were apparently FDR supporters. That one ain’t gonna change.

  9. Remnant says:

    While were at it, we need a concerted campaign to get Starbucks and all such coffee shops to change the names of offensive products:

    “Short black Americano”?

    It’s got to go.

  10. dejour says:

    Not a fan of changing names like Braves, Chiefs, Seminoles or Fighting Sioux. In general, team names are named for things that are considered strong, courageous or otherwise admirable. So, in general, it’s a compliment to have a team named after a people. (like with Texans, Celtics, Yankees, Vikings or Canadiens)

    That said, it’s pretty clear that “redskin” is a pejorative in today’s world. Not every Indian is offended by it. But many are.

    I’d compare it to something like “rednecks” or “white trash” – labels that lots of people find offensive but some people are happy to call themselves with pride.

    I think Redskins might be the one team name that is worth changing. Maybe to something like Washington Warriors or Washington Piscataway.

    • Handle says:

      I would totally root for the Richmond Rednecks or Williamsburg White Trash. Bumper sticker and everything.

    • rightsaidfred says:

      …labels that lots of people find offensive but some people are happy to call themselves with pride.

      Kind of the point here: when you start down the rabbit hole, there is no end in trying to please people who find that they get attention with the megaphone.

    • I’d be totally fine with a team called “The Fighting Micks”.

  11. Steve says:

    Move the DC team here (Richmond, Va.). Richmond Rednecks sounds good to me–even tho I wouldn’t pay to see such a bad team.

  12. SOBL1 says:

    It’s lame, but nothign is lamer than Bill SImmons deliberately using bad jokes instead of just saying “Washington”. Just type Washington, but no,he has to try to insert a bad joke to draw attention to the fact that he did not type Redskins.

  13. jamzw says:

    Washington Blackskins?

  14. Jehu says:

    I’d love it if ALL of the names of the NFL teams were as derogatory as possible. Think of it, the New York Bankstas and the New York Shysters, the Seattle Slackers…The Tampa Bay Rednecks…The San Francisco Sodomites…the list goes on and on.
    Equal opportunity offensiveness

    • Foseti says:

      All real sports will eventually have team names like the ones in the WNBA. Completely lame, but perfectly inoffensive.

    • Jeff R. says:

      I like it. Pittsburgh Yinzers (do people not from Pennsylvania know this is a derogatory term for white proles from the Pittsburgh area? Well, now you do), Boston Irish Drunkards, Washington Politicians (just call ’em the Agnews for brevity), New Orleans Titflashers, Dallas Sprawl, Atlanta Traffic Jams…you could get pretty creative with this.

  15. MC says:

    If you’re going to mention the Panthers, how about noting that the “black panther” is a symbol specifically chosen by a racial liberationist movement, and therefore the unpunished theft of that symbol is just another manifestation of white southern privilege?

  16. dearieme says:

    A successful football (soccer) club in north London is Tottenham Hotspur (“Spurs”). Its supporters often refer to themselves as “Yids”, presumably because many of them are Jews. They have been told to stop because it’s anti-semitic.

    • dearieme says:

      This weekend the Spurs fans chanted “Yid” and “YIddo” and “Yid Army” about themselves. One was arrested for it. It was “hate speech” apparently.

  17. Steve Sailer says:

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish?

  18. […] Foseti goes through the remaining 31 NFL team names to determine which team names “will eventually be deemed too-politically-sensitive for hyper-hysterical sports writers.”: […]

  19. ice hole says:

    The 49ers ruthlessly displaced Native Americans in their quest to find “the metal that make the White Man crazy.”

    The Seattle Seahawks have obviously lifted their logo from a totemic image found on a pole, thus appropriating the indigenous culture of the region.

  20. I need a name says:

    Personally, I think the “Rams” name is extremely misogynistic as it excludes the female sheep. Moreover, the image of horned male sheep engaging in contests to determine physical superiority, with a prize of the right to dominate and abuse the most females, is symbolic of patriarchal oppression.

  21. James James says:

    I want to start a neoreactionary club in London, UK. Initially a once-a-month book club.

    Can anyone recommend or unrecommend a suitable platform? Initially I just wanted a mailing list, so considered Google Groups. Now I’m considering Google+ Hangouts, or Treetle. But there may be good reasons not to use Google.

  22. Jeff says:

    I rather enjoy Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback column for ESPN, although he’s been insufferable lately on the subject of the Redskins and their name.

    My thoughts are as follows:

    This not calling the Redskins the Redskins business has pretty well run its course, hasn’t it? I know this is a golden opportunity for bored sports reporters with an inferiority complex vis-a-vis actual journalists to pretend that their jobs actually matter and “have an impact” or whatever, but the fact that the matter is so trivial renders any sustained campaign of social pressure against the team a transparent exercise in sanctimony. If you’re that concerned about “social justice” or whatever, why not go work for a non-profit? Rates of poverty, alcoholism, drug use, and unemployment are way above national averages on virtually every Indian Reservation in the country. Call me crazy, but I don’t see the mechanism whereby pressuring an NFL team to change its name is going to make the slightest difference in the lives of any of these people. The primary benefit seems to me to give journalists a sense of accomplishment and self-worth without them having to making any real sacrifices, and in a rather sophomoric, ‘fight the power’ vein, at that.

  23. Zach says:

    Interesting. Point being “how far can this PC shit go?” Far my friend. Very far. Later comments were my initial attempt at humor. Friends took over while I was playing GO with a n00b or two.

    Will be published eventually, I think. Good times. Please make no fuss about it. Revealing and retarded on so many levels…

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