Your move, Goodell

Published on Wednesday, 7 February 2018 19:37
Written by Washington Post

Here are some things Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred understands but which unfortunately elude his clueless counterpart at the National Football League. That it is meaningless - if not hypocritical - to talk about a commitment to diversity and inclusion when a symbol of your organization denigrates Native Americans.

That a real leader doesn’t shy away from getting people to do the difficult - but right - thing. And that history never forgets those who are on its wrong side.

In pressuring the Cleveland Indians to finally jettison the offensive Chief Wahoo, Manfred sets an example that puts to shame NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and, if he were capable of shame, the owner of Washington’s ill-named football team.

If the Indians, operating in a struggling market with below-average attendance, are able to do the right thing despite the risk of taking a hit from a small percentage of offended fans, surely a team as rich as Washington’s football team should be able to discard a name that is as insulting of Native Americans as is the grinning and clownish Chief Wahoo. Team owner Dan Snyder has vowed to “never” change the team’s name, taking refuge in the myth that a term one would never use in addressing a Native American is actually a tribute. Snyder is enabled by the weak-kneed leadership of Goodell. Would Goodell call anyone a “redskin” to their face? We hope not - which makes all his blather about polls and traditions just that, blather.

Goodell and Snyder can kid themselves all they want about the harmlessness of a name that is a dictionary-defined racial slur, but Cleveland’s move shows they are only delaying the inevitable.

The Washington Post

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Wednesday, 7 February 2018 19:37. Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2018 19:39.