As weary Washington takes its August vacation from doing nothing, we are vigorously breaking with our capitol’s tradition by doing something: proposing to drag America’s professional sports into the 21st century by burying two anachronistic symbols of bigotry.
One requires that we replace the indefensibly racist name of my favorite football team, the Washington Redskins. The other requires that a baseball team I’ve often cheered for, the Cleveland Indians, scrap and shred its racially offensive logo of Chief Wahoo, the cartoonish Native American caricature that adorns Indians’ caps and sleeves.
Both of these iconic sports symbols were considered culturally fine and racially acceptable when they were adopted in the 1930s and ’40s. Today, both have been declared offensive by Native Americans and others. Our takeaway here is that times change and we must, too.