At some point, the Washington Redskins will drop a racist nickname. History says so. The only question is how the team will do so to save — pardon the pun — face after digging in against the decades-long effort.
The Cleveland Indians are currently providing one example in retiring its racist “wahoo” logo. Simply stop using it. No big declaration involved. The team is just making it quietly go away, leaving racists to fume on their own without the team getting bogged down in the debate.
In a post-season survey, the Indians, it should be noted, asked fans who bought tickets last year what they thought about “Chief Wahoo.” The team never released the results, but the fact the team is now using a “C” as its primary logo reveals the results: People wanted it gone.
It’s not gone yet, but it clearly soon will be. The team insists it’s not phasing the racist logo out, requiring people to decide whether to believe the team, or their lying eyes.
What makes the Redskins controversy particularly interesting these days is the tenuous grasp other NFL teams — we’re looking at you, Vikings — have on good public relations.
The University of Minnesota reportedly is joining an attempt to prevent the Vikings from using the word Redskins in promotional advertising for its Nov. 2 game at TCF Bank Stadium.
If you’re a team interested in some goodwill and being ahead of history, it’s a pretty simple response the Vikings could make. “OK.”
Lester Bagley, the team’s public relations boss, dropped the easy pass in the Washington Post.
“We take the issue very seriously, but we’re just getting ready for our season and we’ve been very focused on training camp and the preseason, and to be honest, we don’t have a game plan for our Nov. 2 game versus Washington,” Bagley said.
Related: Cleveland Indians should drop team name and Chief Wahoo, senator says (cleveland.com).