But the nickname, Redskins, is hardly a pejorative like racist names of yesteryear: “spic,” “wop,” “dago,” “kike” and “nigger.” The outrage over Redskins is political correctness run amok.
The picture of the Native American on the Redskins’ helmet is dignified and noble. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rightly says the nickname “stands for pride and respect.” Daniel Snyder, owner of the Redskins, calls it a badge of honor. Snyder makes two salient points:
• A poll of 1,000 Native Americans concluded that nine of 10 did not find the nickname offensive.
• The Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch interviewed three leaders of Native American tribes in Virginia. None said he was offended by the name.
The clincher in the argument comes from Professor Grant Leneaux, dear friend of long standing at the University of Nevada, Reno.
He is a sensitive intellectual. If anyone would be offended by the word Redskins it would be Leneaux. He has Native American blood in his veins (Delaware) and is fiercely proud of the fact. Yet he says of the nickname: “It doesn’t bother me.’
Hockey is a game of skill. It should ban fighting and body checking. They are mayhems, not skills.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., recently confirmed what has long been obvious: hockey causes brain trauma and concussions, marring an exciting game.
Two National Hockey League players recently left games on a stretcher. One suffered a concussion. The other was knocked unconscious after being crunched from behind.
“Both were grotesque, asinine hits that we see with too much regularity,” hockey writer Ross McKeon declares. “Scoring goals is always far better than fighting or dangerous hits.”
Mossbacks argue that to end fighting and body checking would ruin the game. But that’s nonsense. No loss of excitement resulted after youth hockey and college hockey barred fighting. USA Hockey and Hockey Canada upped the age of body checking to 13 after learning that body checking had caused alarming injuries to 11 and 12 year olds.
The Mayo Clinic reports that repeated hits to the heads cause great harm to players. Left and right hooks in fights lead to concussions.
Anyone who starts a fight in the NHL should be ejected immediately. Fighting should also draw long-term suspensions. The “great game” will flourish without concussions in fights and checks.
The American League is at a disadvantage in the World Series because of its policy of having a designated hitter.
Three of the home games in the current series were played in the St. Louis Cardinals’ ballpark. This meant that in those games the Boston Red Sox had to keep one of their best sluggers on the bench.
But let’s not weep for the Bosox. The DH was instituted in 1973 to provide more hits, more runs and more fan excitement. But as Dan Hinxman, sports editor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, points out, the DH kills late-game strategy.
“I prefer the National League game because managers have to figure out how and when to use pinch hitters and how to use their bullpen pitchers,” Hinxman says.
I agree. The American League should revert to old-fashioned baseball by abolishing the DH.