USA Today: Redskins Should Never Joke about Pale Faces

Pro tip: don't joke in earshot of sanctimonious sports writers.

“Dad, what’s ‘humor?’

“Well, it was a way of talking about things – mixing truth with absurdity or irony – that helped us navigate uncomfortable issues. It made people smile and laugh. They even allowed it in the media sometimes. But that was all long ago, before the Rise of the Perpetually Offended.”

If you think that conversation is far-fetched, get a load of USA Today’s Ted Berg. Berg got sniffy about an exchange on Washington, DC’s 106.7 The Fan between the hosts and Washington Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan, who jokingly discussed what position Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper might play if he played in the NFL.

As Berg describes it:

But Washington Redskins GM Scot McCloughan says Harper would not play cornerback — not necessarily because he lacks the speed for the position, but because he lacks the melanin…

(McCloughan): “I went to a game a couple weeks ago, and he flipped his hips and caught a fly ball out in right field in the corner, and I thought, maybe [cornerback]. But I’m thinking, uhh, okay, no, he’s gotta be a safety. He’s a white guy.”

Funny, right?! Cute? Worth a chuckle? No, you racist!

According to Berg:

Look: No one’s naive enough to think that half-serious, race-based evaluations don’t permeate private scouting conversations occasionally in all sports, and maybe McCloughan was only trying to make a joke that played on the institutionalized racism that still likely impacts some teams’ hiring practices. 

But you’d have to figure the GM of a team with as tenuous a claim to race relations as the Washington Redskins would know better than to broadcast that type of thing.

Really? Considering that 90% of Native American people have no problem with the Redskins name, I’d say that Berg made the “tenuous claim” here, not the Redskins. Of course, neither Ted Berg nor USA Today stands alone in this tripe.

Just two weeks ago, ESPN’s Max Kellerman flat-out called the Redskins name “racist.” Keith Olbermann, also of the four-letter network, has waxed silly on the topic before, wanting the Redskins to change their name and also making the case to go after the Cleveland Indians next. 

And last, and he is certainly least, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon tried to link the Redskins with the N-word after the NFL banned the N-word from the field. Wilbon basically said that since the word “Redskin” was synonymous with the word “n***er,” that Commissioner Goodell should ban it as well. 

But is the word Redskins, synonymous with the word “nigg**?”There are literally dozens of school-affiliated and junior league sports teams on Indian reservations across the country use the name Redskins, and zero youth sports teams call themselves the “nigg***.” Because those two words are in no way, shape, manner, or form synonymous. Which would render the liberal sports media’s claim that the Redskins name is inherently racist “tenuous.” 

So a word of advice, Mr. Berg: Learn how to laugh. After all, we’re laughing at you.