The Washington Redskins keep releases valiant defensive treatises regarding the NFL franchise’s racist nickname. In each of them, they note how many American high schools are also nicknamed the Redskins.
There’s just one ironic detail about this latest Washington charm offensive: In the same week that they were extolling the virtues of the Redskins as a nickname, the students of one school whose teams are still called the ‘Skins voted to change their nickname, poste haste.
As reported by the Associated Press, teams competing for Cooperstown (N.Y.) Central High will no longer be known as the Redskins as soon as the school board selects a mascot/nicnkname replacement.
The Daily Star of Oneonta first reported that Cooperstown high school and middle school students had voted to change the district’s mascot.
Unlike the Washington Redskins, Cooperstown Central had more of a justification for naming its teams after a Native American figure. Cooperstown was the hometown of famed author James Fenimore Cooper, who penned “The Last of the Mohicans” among other tomes. As it stands, Cooper’s legacy with the school may not end with the Redskins nickname’s demise.
The AP reported that Deerslayers, Hawkeyes and Pathfinders, all characters in Cooper novels, are the current favored mascots to take the Redskins’ place.
That all of this rather civilized civic action is occurring just hours north of the NFL home of Daniel Snyder’s riches should not go unnoticed. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Redskins released profiles of high schools that still use the Redskins moniker as the nom de participation of their sports programs with pride.
If only Snyder had taken notice of things going on in New York, the franchise’s defense of its outdated, traditional name might not have been undercut by a bunch of teenagers who are apparently more mature than the NFL owner himself. The Cooperstown students may not have intended to undercut Snyder's larger strategic point, but they hardly could have been more persuasive, or effective.
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