Sarah Palin has expressed her support for Mike Ditka, who has expressed his support for Daniel Snyder, who has vowed to never change the name of the Washington Redskins.
Got all that? It can get a little confusing. Just ask Palin and Ditka. Those two seem to have forgotten what this battle is all about.
Some Native American people out there consider the word "Redskins" to be derogatory and, therefore, think the team name and logo are offensive. Of course, some people from every ethnic background support that side of the battle, just like there are some Native Americans are fine with the team name.
But folks like Ditka and Palin seem to think this has everything to do with what they consider to be the liberal media. Ditka recently told a Redskins fan site that the people trying to change the Redskins name are "politically correct idiots" and "liberals who complain about everything."
The legendary Chicago Bears player and coach also said: "It's been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone."
Soon after those comments went public, right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh suggested Ditka could get at least suspended by his employer, ESPN (that hasn't happened). That prompted Palin to leap to Ditka's defense against this crazy media conspiracy on Facebook:
"Nothing should surprise us lately; but when the Politically Correct Police bust Ditka, they hope the silent majority will cower under leftist control. My goodness, Ditka merely spoke his mind. This accomplished and esteemed coach knows there are big issues to be addressed in America today; there’s no intent to offend by referring to a team by the name they’ve proudly worn since day one and chose with pride in our native ancestry and obviously had absolutely no intent to insult; and the liberal media’s made-up controversies divide our country. The government’s intent to force any owner of anything, in this case an NFL entity, to change a name is the antithesis of the American way of working through differences."
Ditka addressed the issue again late last week and somehow managed to simultaneously show a bit more common sense while straying even further from what the controversy is really about.
“If an American Indian found it to be offensive, I can understand it perfectly. But for somebody who that’s their job is to stir up crap, to go out and say it’s offensive?" Ditka said. "If an American Indian says it’s offensive, that’s fine. I’m all for changing it. But I don’t want some liberal to come out and say, ‘This is wrong.’ It isn’t wrong."
Um, you see, Mike, some Native Americans actually are offended ... oh, never mind. My head is starting to hurt.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times