The Role of Social Media in the Redskins Name Controversy

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The Washington Redskins are the third most valuable franchise in the NFL, according to Forbes. They also hold the top spot for the most controversial name in the league. Debate about whether or not the team should change its name has been a hot topic over the last couple of weeks, with the majority of opinions being voiced over social media. Outspoken Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been emphatic about his desire to dismiss this whole issue, citing polls that demonstrate that a large majority of Native Americans are not offended by the name. NFL commissioner Roger Goodel has remained adamant on the need to have a discussion on the matter, even if only a few people are offended.

Although multiple stories from both Buzzfeed and ESPN voice support for and against a name change, social media is keeping this issue alive. Just enter the keyword “Redskins Name Change” into your Twitter search bar and you will find a plethora of stories and opinions. Never mind that the Redskins are 1-3 to start the season and that RGIII looks like a shell of himself, the name controversy is mostly the first thing that comes up when the Redskins are being discussed.

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Lets take a closer look at the debate as it  continues on via social media:
harr-reid-redksins-tweet Twitter is certainly abuzz with news that the Oneida Indian Nation plans to hold an event against the Redskins name in DC, around the same time NFL owners will be meeting. As we get closer to that date, the debate will surely pick up steam and many voices will likely join the conversation.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that this issue isn’t going away and Snyder is going to have to make a decision based on Native American protest and what the majority of his fan base feels should be done. After all, they are going to be the ones wearing that name across their chest come game day. Luckily, we have social media to thank for making these opinions readily available.

Update: President Obama recently weighed in on the issue, stating that if he was the team’s owner, he would consider a name change.