04 January 2021

Why The Washington Football Team Has a New Name (no explanation for how a 7-9 team made it to the playoffs, though)

Trigger alert: this has a gruesome punchline.

The Washington Football team made it to the playoffs with a record of 7-9.

In the early 1600s, the English conquered Ireland and announced half a million acres in the north open to settlement. As you might imagine, the Irish resisted. The English had never before had to remove so many indigenous people to replace with settlers. They even tried a "wild Irish" reservation for a time.

Sir Humphrey Gilbert was made the governor of this Irish province and he paid a bounty for Irish heads. Over time, the bounty was simply paid for scalps. Gilbert moved to America and brought this practice with him. In America, officials privatized genocide, a war within this new land against indigenous people by paying for scalps.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes in An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, "The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp-hunts: redskins."

In 2020, after 87 years, the Washington Football team has dropped that name in response to protests from first nations' people.

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