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Hail to the Washington Football Team

The Redskins' placeholder name perfectly encapsulates the modern progressive movement.

Washington Football Team at Atlanta Falcons from Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA October 3rd, 2021 (All-Pro Reels Photography via Wikimedia Commons)

The one thing I regret about ditching our TV is not being able to watch football. Here in New England, it’s easy to bluff your way through sports talk. Just saying something like, “We owe Belichick more than one season with a new quahtahback before we kick him to the curb.” But it’s been more than a year since I’ve actually seen a game. I miss it. And I’m completely out of the loop.

So when I started seeing references to the “Washington Football Team” I assumed it was a politically correct euphemism, like when newspapers refer to an Arab terrorist as a “Swedish man” in their headlines. I figured the sports reporters just couldn’t bring themselves to type the word Redskins. But no. The Washington, D.C., football team is actually called “Washington Football Team.” They dropped the Redskins moniker in 2020 during the George Floyd protests and will officially adopt a new name in 2022. 

I’m sure most of you knew this, but it’s news to me. A reckless Minnesota cop killed a drug addict while trying to restrain him; therefore, Washington, D.C.’s football team has to change its name without choosing a replacement first.

I didn’t really believe it until I went on the “Washington Football Team” pro shop. There, one can buy $120 jerseys with Terry McLaurin’s name on them. It’s the same Redskins color scheme, but instead of a team name, it just says Washington. For the special lady in your life, you can even get a $280 handbag emblazoned with the “Washington Football Team” logo: the letter W in a stylish sans serif.

Now, local Redskins fans overwhelmingly oppose the change. Many surveys show that only about 10 percent of Native Americans find the name offensive. Bear in mind that, these days, you can always find 10 percent of any group to find anything offensive. (“Creamed corn?” Senator Warren cried. “You mean maize that flows like muddy river.”)

Let me ask you something. Do you folks realize how lucky we are to be living in times such as these? If Swift, Twain, and Bierce all put their heads together, they couldn’t imagine a world as ridiculous as this one. Modernity is just one huge sendup of itself. We’re all starring in a spoof of our own lives.

With that in mind, I’d like to make this suggestion to our friends on the left. For six years now, the red MAGA hat has served as the de facto uniform of the Republican base. Democrats have nothing like it—no symbol that makes them stand out in the crowd. Well, I suggest that progressives adopt the yellow snapback of the “Washington Football Team.” (It’s a steal at just $40.) 

Think about it. No other symbol could so perfectly encapsulate the modern progressive movement:

  1. The Redskins were canceled for being offensive…even though nobody was actually offended. That’s the beauty of newspeak. You can describe a deliberate car crash as if nobody was driving. You can refer to a protest as an “insurrection” even though nobody was trying to overthrow the government. Words mean whatever you want them to mean.
  2. The team’s management was so desperate to please the New York Times editorial board—massive sports fans, every last one of them—that they didn’t even wait to pick a new name or design a new logo. They just slapped on this stupid, ugly placeholder. And that’s what modern culture is: a stupid, ugly placeholder. We don’t create anything true or good or beautiful. We don’t make things of any lasting worth. We just sponge off our ancestors’ cultural capital until we go broke. We toy with the relics of our dead civilization until we break them, like children playing catch with a Fabergé egg. “Washington Football Team” is to sports what “Fabulous Godmother” is to literature.
  3. As with all the progressives’ experiments in social engineering, nobody actually wants it. Nobody’s even sure where it came from. Who was the first to decide that the name Redskins was “offensive,” given that nobody was actually offended by it? Who’s the leader of this movement—the Susan B. Anthony, the Mahatma Gandhi, the Martin Luther King? Who has dedicated their life to righting this grave injustice? Well, that’s not how today’s progressives work. New P.C. orthodoxies seep out of Ivy League classrooms, they congeal in California H.R. departments and New York fundraisers, and then they’re disseminated by organs of the regime like the Atlantic and CNN. It’s less of a movement than a leaky septic tank. And that’s how we got the Washington Football Team.
  4. Most importantly: it’s a money maker. Redskins fans may resent the name-change. They may spend the next ten years griping about how the P.C. Police stole their team. But when the Washington Football Team gets a new quarterback, are they going to deprive themselves of a new jersey ($150)? When they get a new phone, are they going to forego a new case ($60)? When their brother Jeff gets sloshed at the 4th of July cookout and breaks their old Redskins cornhole set, will they be able to resist shelling out for a couple of new boards ($200)? Of course not. We’re Americans. We live for this cheap, mass-produced, brand-name garbage. And much as progressives like to bash the free market, they know how to make it work for then. The Washington Football Team is a textbook example of woke capitalism at work. 

So go ahead and get your WFT hats today, kiddos. Get us $25.99 closer to our brave, new world. Yes, it’s soulless, gutless, bloodless, and totally worthless. But it’s not offensive! And, really, what more can you ask for?

Michael Warren Davis is author of The Reactionary Mind. Subscribe to his newsletter, “The Common Man”.

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