To: Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post

Tell the Washington Post: Stop referring to Washington's NFL team as the "Redskins"

Tell the Washington Post: Stop referring to Washington's NFL team as the "Redskins"

The name of Washington's NFL team is racist, offensive, outdated, and embarrassing. With ownership changing at the Washington Post, now is the perfect time to stop using the name "Redskins."

Why is this important?

I became a fan of the pro football team in Washington, D.C., in 1982, when I was 10. I was living in Florida and everyone was rooting for the Miami Dolphins. But I didn't want to be part of the crowd, so I decided to root for Art Monk, John Riggins and the team from the nation's capital. And what do you know? They won the Super Bowl, instilling in me a fandom that is still with me 30 years later as a D.C. resident.

As a 10-year-old, I didn't pay much attention to the team's name and mascot. By the time I got to high school, though, I realized that not only is the name in bad taste, it's straight-up racist and offensive, not only to Native Americans, but to anyone who cares about fairness and respect for all human beings as human beings.

Supporters of the name have argued that it shouldn't be changed because it is tradition and part of the team's history and culture. But in the U.S., we've changed a lot of traditions that we once followed when we realized they were wrong or offensive. This is one of those times, yet team owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly refused to make a change.

We are well past the point that media outlets like the Washington Post should be complicit in supporting such an offensive name. There's no reason the Washington Post need to use the name in its coverage. Recently, the Kansas City Star, the Washington City Paper, and other media outlets said they will no longer use the name "Redskins" when referring to the team.

Despite his stubbornness, it's clear that Snyder has been feeling the heat. Pressure over the past few years has compelled him to engage in increasingly absurd stunts to defend his stubborn refusal to change the name, like assigning employees to build lists of high school teams with the name "Redskins" and trotting out a man named Chief Dodson, who was not an actual chief, to explain that his people were honored by the name. But continuing to engage in these tactics instead of changing the name will appear even more ridiculous if the hometown newspaper of the team decides to stop referring to the "Redskins" by name.

With Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' recent purchase of the Washington Post, now is the perfect time to change the tone and stop using the name. Not only will this policy significantly increase pressure on Snyder to choose a new name for the team--dropping such an offensive and embarrassing name is simply the right thing to do.

Bezos knows that the world is watching closely to see how he'll influence the direction of the Washington Post. By signing this petition, you can help guide the debate over the team name and the discussion of how Bezos should lead. He knows that if he starts out his new term as owner by appearing to racially insensitive, it will not only have consequences for his future leading the Post, but could also become a PR nightmare for him as the head of Amazon.

Please take a few minutes to ask them to do the right thing and stop promoting a racist and culturally insensitive relic of a past that should embarrass every fan of Washington football.

Washington's been my favorite team since I was a kid and first started watching football. I've never been able to buy a shirt or anything to show my support the team and that makes me sad. I'm hoping it changes before I die.


Washington, DC

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2013-08-16 11:02:34 -0700

500 signatures reached

2013-08-13 11:52:10 -0700

100 signatures reached

2013-08-13 11:23:57 -0700

50 signatures reached

2013-08-13 11:12:12 -0700

25 signatures reached

2013-08-12 17:42:27 -0700

10 signatures reached