Racist Names of Sports Teams
Q&A Radio: Sunday, 27 October 2013, Question 2
I answered a question on racist names of sports teams on Philosophy in Action Radio on 27 October 2013. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.
Should sports teams with racist names change them? Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins has vowed never to the team's name, insisting that it stands for bravery. I've read conflicting reports about polls of Native Americans. Some are offended, and some don't care. It appears that D.C. area politicians and various academics looking to make names for themselves are leading the charge to change the name, and they seem to have much to gain thereby. Personally, I am not offended by the name, but I wouldn't go onto a reservation and address the people there as "redskins." While the name may be racist and offensive to some, is that a sufficient reason to change it?
My Answer, In Brief: The term "redskin" is a racial epithet, yet it's not used in an offensive way by the Washington Redskins. Given that team's use of the name doesn't promote racism or bullying, the name shouldn't be changed as any kind of moral imperative. However, that doesn't mean that the name should be staunchly defended either. Moral fervor on this issue is seriously misplaced.
- Duration: 16:34
- Download: MP3 Segment (5.7 MB)
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- ESPN: Have the people spoken? by Rick Reilly
- Poster Puts the Racism of the Cleveland Indians Iconography Into Embarrassing Context
- Wikipedia: Redskin
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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