More support for changing the name of the NFL team in Washington comes from Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Yesterday, I wrote about how incredibly easy it would be to change the racist name of any kind of team. It’s really not that hard. Imagine the reverse, though. Imagine changing the Vancouver “Canucks” to the Vancouver “Insert racist slur here.” Somewhat inconceivable, so it should be easy to do the reverse, and fix the Washington NFL team name, as well as the other racist team names.
There’s actually a list of racist team names. A few of them even.
If you think the oh-so-rich professional sports leagues are the pure avenues of Everyman in pursuit of recreation in a troubled world, get over yourself. They are brand-obsessed, like all corporations. Some brands stink with their racist team names, logos, mascots and symbols, even though there are those that attempt to reflect positive elements of race [Atlanta Braves?]. A variety of people are saying this: #ChangeTheName and #ChangeTheMascot and that they are #NotYourMascot. Sounds like common sense to me.
But the only “good” reason I’ve ever heard about why some teams need to keep their racist names is…tradition. Maybe I’ve missed a few, but this one is so very sad. Tradition. Slavery was traditional as well. As well as keeping women from voting.
But let’s not only “pick on” Washington [the seat of the government that fought for the emancipation of a race from this slavery thing]. Let’s focus on the rest of the teams that have a rich tradition of sporting a racist team name!
Risking player’s brain trauma for profit makes the NHL a gladiator pimp organization.
At some point, as estimates continue to roll in, the NHL accountants and lawyers will realize that reducing concussion risk in the NHL will make the league more profitable. The NHLPA needs to do a better job advocating for the health of its membership.
That will get me watching again, and my kids.
And that may be the only thing, aggravated by class action lawsuits, that get the game safer for players. Oh and the CBC getting rid of Don Cherry.
Here’s information from a recent study [emphasis is mine]:
Having spent some time recently examining the NHL’s and NHLPA’s collective negligence about headshots, I was inspired to address the homophobia that surrounds hockey fandom last night. Sure the Canucks lost, but before that, someone called them a bunch of faggles in Twitterland. How did that all go down, and what hope is there that the NHL actually cares about combating mindless, ignorant bigotry and homophobia? Read about it after the jump.
Before I get into my increasingly radical antipathy towards the NHL and NHLPA and their callous disregard for brain injury risks, I’d like you to spend a few moments watching this gratuitous display of intent to injure at a bantam hockey game in Kelowna last month involving teenagers. It will properly explain what I am about to say about the NHL and its embrace of callous violence.
OK, April Fools is over in Nova Scotia now, so I’m putting on my Cape Breton hat for this post to avoid having to post it in 4 hours.
We need to boycott NHL’s sponsors until the NHL owners figure out that not banning head shots is morally negligent. I say this despite my excitement at the Canucks clinching the Western Conference and the President’s Trophy this week for the first time in their 40 year history and an exciting playoffs coming up.
Mario Lemieux and Geoff Molson [Penguins’ and Habs’ owners] are considering establishing a premium league with the 4 other sane owners, a league without headshots and with respect for the human dignity of hockey players so they are not degraded to Rollerball players. This premium league may be just a threat/bluff/wake-up call for the other owners, but I don’t care. Someone needs to step up and the NHL Players’ Association doesn’t seem to be able to fully solve the problem of protecting its members health despite some positive developments.
I loved the original Rollerball [Norman Jewison directed it!] and I haven’t seen the remake. The movie helps us understand a number of things: the psychology of fame, sport, team ownership, violence as entertainment, slavery, dignity, humanity, individuality. The NHL is becoming a parody of itself. It is approaching Rollerball through ownership negligence.
Other corporate sponsors have the capacity to influence the NHL owners’ love of money.
If we boycott the corporations who sponsor the NHL, and tell them why, they may let the owners know that it is time to improve. We know unfortunate public figures like Don Cherry will not stand up for player safety.
It is a new era of activism when corporations, themselves often morality sleazebags, want to protect the perceived legitimacy of their brand by not associating it with depravity like NHL owner-sanctioned headshots.
There may be little response from the NHL from a modest corporate backlash, but there’s always a chance we can make a difference.
I have a hard time condoning children watching the NHL if I have to attempt to justify things like headshots, especially the gratuitous hit on Canuck Chris Tanev in last night’s game, of which even the LA coach said, “In the environment that we have today it’s a play where you’ve got to let up. There’s no question the Vancouver defenseman saw him from the top of the hash mark in … but you do have to let up. That’s just the way the environment is.”
It’s time to take a stand for dignity, sanity and a game that won’t sink to Rollerball’s level.
De-Spinning the Political and Re-Spinning it for Social, Economic and Political Justice