The debate is raging on about whether or not the Washington Redskins should change their team name and if it is offensive to Native Americans. Last week, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly came out with a column stating how he was pro keeping the name, and one of the biggest reasons was that his father-in-law Bob Burns who is a Blackfeet elder, said he doesn’t care about the team name.
Burns wrote a response for Indian Country Today Media Network and he is not happy:
So you can imagine my dismay when I saw my name and words used to defend the racist Washington Redskins name. My son-in-law, ESPN’s Rick Reilly, completely misunderstood the conversation we had, quoting me as saying “the whole issue is so silly. The name just doesn’t bother me much. It’s an issue that shouldn’t be an issue, not with all the problems we’ve got in this country.”
But that’s not what I said.
What I actually said is that “it’s silly in this day and age that this should even be a battle — if the name offends someone, change it.” He failed to include my comments that the term “redskins” demeans Indians, and historically is insulting and offensive, and that I firmly believe the Washington Redskins should change their name.
When Rick’s article came out, it upset me to be portrayed as an “Uncle Tom” in support of this racial slur. I asked him to correct the record. He has not, so I must do it myself.
I am going to take a wild guess and say this has create quite an awkward situation at home for Rick Reilly. Burns pretty much dropped the mic on him by saying “I asked him to correct the record. He has not, so I must do it myself.”