David Plotz, the liberal editor of the liberal website Slate, has announced that Slate will no longer refer to the Washington Redskins as the Washington Redskins. “For decades,” Plotz writes, “American Indian activists and others have been asking, urging, and haranguing the Washington Redskins to ditch their nickname, calling it a racist slur and an insult to Indians.”
I’d like to address Plotz’s concern. But I’d like to do so in the manner of his high school basketball coach, about whom Plotz wrote a piece, “I Loved My Abusive Basketball Coach,” back in April.
Apparently Plotz had a madman for a high school basketball coach, but wound up learning and growing from the experience. “When I was a high school freshman, my basketball coach shoved me, pushed me, mocked me, and chucked basketballs at me. He compared me in unfavorable ways (and remarkably foul language) to girls and senior citizens. At halftime of our game against Bishop Ireton—after a half when I had scored a season-high 8 points—he walloped me in the head with a water bottle, as punishment for some stupid mistake. And, though I can’t remember a specific moment, he undoubtedly called me a faggot, since just about everyone at an all-boys private school in 1985 called everyone else faggot, and since he was always calling us one name or another.”
However, Plotz actually learned from the experience: “The abuse was married to the praise. We needed both. Maybe it’s sad to say this, but we wouldn’t have trusted the kind words without the cruelty. I asked my parents if they would have reported Coach to the school had they known what he was doing. My mother said instantly that she would have. My father hesitated, and said he wasn’t sure. “‘You thought you were learning from it. And maybe you were.’”
All these years later Plotz is now cramped up with political correctness, but I think evoking the old coach can loosen him up. Besides, I went to Georgetown Prep, which Plotz notes in his piece destroyed his basketball team (though his school and coach aren’t identified). I know that world. So listen up, Plotz, your coach is entering the journalistic locker room:
God on a bicycle Plotz, are you a catamite or an old woman? What is this shit about the Redskins? Oh, widdle Davie Plotzie thinks is vewwy bad to call a team the Washington Redskins. My asshole’s bleedin’ I’m cryin’ so hard!
Plotz, lemme tell you something. I live in Washington, D.C. I work in Washington, D.C. I get laid in Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. is the Washington Redskins.
Lemme ask you something. What do you see when you go to a game? I mean, aside from the drunks. You see people of all races and colors, Plotz. You see old farts and little kids. You see women and men, black and white, even a few asians. And what are they doing, Plotz? They are celebrating honor and courage and strength and bravery. If you go up to any random person at RFK Stad — I mean, Fed Ex Field — and ask them what the word “Redskin” means, they’ll tell you: it means glory. It means history. It means men with balls.
Plotz! Pay attention. The thing is, Plotz, where you really went into the Twilight Zone with this, was when you wrote this: “Here’s a quick thought experiment: Would any team, naming itself today, choose ‘Redskins’ or adopt the team’s Indian-head logo? Of course it wouldn’t.”