Mike Tyson, Known For Great Ideas, Thinks Redskins Should Change Name
Boxing legend Mike Tyson recently gave an interview at Turning Stone Casino Resort where he said the Washington Redskins should change their name.
The casino is owned and operated by the Oneida tribe, who have been the main group pushing for the Redskins to change their name, reports the Washington Post.
When asked about the name, Tyson asked the questioner, “What’s the difference between the Washington Redskins and the Washington Black Bucks or Black Coons?”
“It’s just common sense,” he continued. “The Washington Redskins. That’s what the Army in the 19th century called them: Redskins. The cavalry called them Redskins, a derogatory term. Redskins. Even your kids know that’s derogatory.”
Tyson was incorrect about the term originating from 19th century cavalry. A common misconception is that they were called Redskins in reference to bloody scalps. As linguist David Skinner explained in a Slate article, “Redskin” was a term commonly used by both Indians and white colonials alike.
The term actually originated from Indians identifying themselves as such, then was translated into French and English. It continued to be used without any negative connotation by both whites and Indians until the early 1900s where it was all but dropped from vernacular.
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