When RGIII went down that last time against the Seahawks, my heart just about stopped. Then it basically felt like it was falling out of my chest. Then as I followed the drama between Coach Shanahan and Dr. Andrews, I started to get pretty pissed off that anyone would put a human being's life at risk. I'm sure I'm not the only one who had this crazy mix of emotions.
First, as a DC resident and RGIII fan, I want to use this opportunity to wish RGIII the best of luck with a speedy and safe recovery. I have been reading and it seems like he is "well on his way to recovery." I hope that it's as painless as possible.
One other thing, though. I am a Redskins fan but the offensive team name has got to go and I think RGIII can help make it happen. Hear me out here.
When I say I am a fan of the Redskins, I mean I am a fan of football as a sport. I'm a fan of my hometown team. I'm a fan of the memories I have watching games with my dad while growing up. I support the players on the Redskins who are incredible athletes and inspiring individuals. No one better represents the potential of this team than RGIII. He's honestly the reason I have been paying more attention to the team.
But the team name? It's offensive to many people. Maybe it represents the DC that stole land from the Native Americans, but not the 2013 modern day intelligent, passionate city I call home.
I am sitting here wondering what would happen if the team was named Blackskins. Would I like that? No! I can't imagine RGIII would be ok with playing for a team called the Washington Blackskins, can you?
What's the difference with a team called the Redskins then? Why is it ok to make a mockery of people who are of Native descent? It's not right. No one in their right mind can justify this. And all the multi-million marketing dollars in the world don't excuse making a mockery of others by using a racial slur.
I can pretty much guarantee you that more people will buy cool new team merchandise if it's not offensive and racist. I, for one, would be happy to do so after years of not paying a dime to racist merchandising. If our team is nothing more than a name, that's upsetting. I know we are about values, inspiration, and heart -- not some name that carries an offensive context of discrimination.
RGIII, whether he likes it or not, is a leader both on and off the field. From his Christian values to his charity work, it's admirable! But that's what makes silence that much more surprising. His silence on this issue is actually support for continuing the Redskins offensive team name. But that's wrong. I think he is an amazing person. I don't want it to seem like I'm picking on the guy while he's down and out, but I can't ignore this because I think he has an opportunity to do something great. I think he just needs to see how many people want him to be a leader on this.
I believe he knows it's wrong. I believe you know it is wrong, too. I believe he knows the greatness of the Redskins team and his legacy in the future are tied to the content of their character not the color of their skin. I think you know that as well.
It's wrong RGIII. Support a new team name, please. Your fans won't leave you if you support changing the team name, and think about how many new fans you'll gain as a result!
Everyone please sign to support this campaign and wish RGIII a speedy recovery so we can kick some butt next year.
Adrianne Burke started this petition with a single signature, and now has 54 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.