It’s great to be an American
I have not written in two weeks, so it is not only great to be back at my computer, but it is wonderful to be back in the United States.
As most of my readers know, I have spent a great deal of my life working elsewhere throughout the world. Everywhere I worked in the past, I was always welcome. Make no bones about it, we, Americans, have never been truly liked… but we were always respected. Today, it is different.
I still am involved with Front Line in Japan. My partner Tee Kuboki and I talk frequently on Skype. Tee told me many years ago that in Japan, when America sneezed, Japan would catch a cold. Their entire economy would have been trouble. Today, they are scuffling to find another form of Cough Syrup to survive.
Sports and Entertainment, which we have given to the world, have always been respected and appreciated. These disciplines continue to be respected.
To this end, there is no greater American Heritage than Jazz, Basketball, Baseball and our brand of Football it is unique to our American creativity. Our Logos are among the items demanding respect.
We were out of the country the past two weeks. Along with our friends, Dr. and Mrs. Al Rumack, we took a Jazz Cruise. Here were great musicians from all over the world. I have an inquisitive habit of talking to almost everyone I meet.
The Jazz was terrific. The musicians were some of the best, working in perfect harmony. Many of them were playing together as a unit, a team, for the first time, having never met before.
The musicians from elsewhere constantly asked what has happened to America? After all, they figured if they could play together and make beautiful music why can’t America’s Leaders work together as a team to get results?
This column is not intended to be political! Yet, every day in every way, politics impacts our lives.
The grass roots movement to change the name of the Washington Redskins, because Redskins is deemed to be a derogatory term and offensive to some, caught my attention. Perhaps it was because my father and my uncle Louie played with the Boston team in the early 30’’s until the team moved to Washington.
I worked for Jack Kent Cooke as a Los Angles Kings and Lakers Executive at the time he owned the Redskins. I worked with his hall of fame coach, George Allen, when George headed up the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.
These men were proud of the franchise and the name. Today’s fan base in poll after poll has overwhelmingly supported keeping the name.
Quite honestly, I felt the same way! Then I did a little research into how the name came about. What I learned both shocked and appalled me.
In Colonial times, King George advocated the killing of Indians and offered money for their scalp. His government paid 50 pounds for each male over 12 years, ($18,000 today). In essence the Bounty Hunters were paid for Red Skins.
It’s a fact that in 1932, the Boston team became the Redskins in honor of their then coach-coach Lone Star Dietz, an American Sioux.
Today, many Native American Schools wear the name Redskin with pride. At Kingston Oklahoma High School, which is 58 percent Native American, the name Redskins has been worn by its students for 104 years.
In fact, Redskins was the first name used by Native Americans themselves in their description to settlers. Today, with 2 million enrolled in 566 federally recognized tribes, plus another 3.2 million who tell the census they are Indian – it’s extremely hard to tell how many are opposed to the name.
Still it seems, to a vocal few, the name Redskin is offensive. Even to the point where the President who has many more important things to do than discussing the name of a Pro football team weighed in.
That’s what brought me to this conclusion:
I do not know Dan Snyder, but he paid mucho dinero for the right to own the Redskins football team. That being the case and understanding that an NFL team is a monetary franchise, I suggest those who are who are vocal enough to try and force change, raise enough money to reimburse Mr. Snyder the total cost to him if he changes the name.
This includes lost revenues from all areas.
In brief, just as in a government when faced with a monetary crisis, compromise is not a dirty word, but a must! To quote the old coach’s cliché, “There is no ‘I’ in team”.