Landover, Maryland: In a decision reached last week by franchise owner Dan Snyder, The Washington Redskins will kick off the 2013-2014 season with a new name and mascot.
The official date for the name change is July 25, the same day Redskin’s summer training camp begins. Players reporting to camp will be issued jerseys displaying the new mascot, the Predator Drone.
The decision to abandon the Redskin, an image that has been a part of D.C. history since the team was founded in 1937, came after team owner Dan Snyder finally caved to pressure from Native American and left-wing activists.
For years, the Redskins have been criticized by the human rights community for using a symbol many considered a racial epithet and relic of an era marred by the genocide of North America’s indigenous, who early settlers classified as sub-humans.
The Redskins aren’t the first major franchise to undergo a name change because of a controversial mascot. In fact, many mascots throughout the nation’s short history of professional sports have been replaced because of their offensiveness to certain minority groups.
In 1945, the Negro Baseball League was forced to change the name of the Wichita Spades after early civil rights leaders arranged a statewide boycott of the team’s home games. Unfortunately the franchise, which was owned by the King Cotton Company at the time, chose a new, equally racist name and the Wichita Spades became the Wichita Spooks. However that racist name didn’t last either because in 1951, the Supreme Court ruled that having a separate league for “Negros” was also racist.
Washington’s Head Coach, Mike Shanahan, has apparently embraced the name change. “It really seems serendipitous that next year we’ll be the Predator Drones. With RG3 less mobile from last year’s knee injury, our offense is going to be defined by aerial strikes,” said Shanahan.
“And whether you’re talking bombings from unmanned aircraft that dangerously redefines constitutional executive power, or just running a pistol formation in the redzone on 3rd down, the best defense is a good offense.” Shanahan was apparently unaware that Predator Drones only hit their targets an abysmal 2% of the time. And if RG3’s completion rate were comparable, nearly all his attempts would end up sailing over his wide-receivers and killing a group of innocent fans up in the nose-bleeds.
Before the final decision to go with the Predator Drone, other mascots were considered. Among the names in the running to replace the Redskin were: The Washington Frackers, The Washington Big Brothers, and the Washington Monsantos. In the end, it was decided that the Predator Drone most appropriately symbolized the post-9/11 climate in our nation’s capital: a place where over-lobbied politicians cater to the defense contractors who hope to have 20,000 drones in the skies above the planet by 2020.
Even as many progressives applaud the Redskins for finally appeasing the Native American community, the new mascot already seems to be stirring up the same kind of controversy it was intended to end. This time the offended minorities are Americans of Middle Eastern descent, who have family members in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, and other countries where the Drones are likely being used covertly.
For these Americans, the Drone won’t be associated with big plays and fourth quarter comebacks, but rather the hundreds of their innocent countrymen/women/children vaporized during the Obama Administration’s attempts at drone-killing suspected terrorists.
Owner, Dan Snyder has taken note of the criticisms but is moving forward with the name change. Jerseys, hats and other apparel featuring the Predator Drone are already being shipped from China to fulfill the huge preseason demand.
“If our new mascot turns out to offend people from countries where predator drones are operating, then as my friends in the defense contracting business say, ‘we’ll just have to blow up and rebuild that bridge with taxpayer money when we come to it,’ ” said Snyder during a morning press conference.
When pressed further on the issue by reporters from Al-Jazeera, Snyder said, “Look, I can’t just call up the people at Susan G. Komen and tell them we’ve stopped production our line of pink Predator Drone breast cancer awareness jerseys and hats. You don’t understand, I’ll be praying for cancer when they get done with me. You don’t know how powerful these people are. I’ve already said too much.”
The Washington Predator Drones will fly to New England in hopes of defeating the Patriots in their season opener. The USGS is expecting some seismic activity in the area, as the irony of that matchup will have every Founding Father simultaneously rollling over in his respective grave.