Friday, October 18, 2013
There has been much to do about the nickname of the Washington football team - the Redskins. Some think it is a slur. If calling someone a Redskin is bad then calling them a Viking should be regarded as far worse. We might have different impressions of what being a Redskin was all about, but there is no doubt about the dreaded Vikings. Raping, pillaging and burning churches was their stock in trade. How is it then that a professional football team in an area with a significant population of Scandinavian descent could be proud of a team called the Vikings? I suspect that the passage of time has healed some wounds and that there is a nostalgia for the glamorous image of bold seafarers and adventurers with little regard for the horrors of the reality. Could not the same be true of the Redskins. When we think of Redskins today the image that comes to mind is of a proud warrior or perhaps a skilled hunter. If, in fact, the term Redskins brought to mind a negative image of native Americans no sports team in its right mind would want it as a nickname.