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Burner's Burning Questions

An Open Letter To Mike Florio

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Burner’s Burning Questions – An Open Letter To Mike Florio

Mr. Florio, greetings from our humble football home on this vast expanse that we know as the internet. We’re a small group of dedicated Redskins fans who enjoy talking about our favorite team and, win or lose, do so with a passionate zeal. Many in our membership base will tell you that we are open minded and welcome all newcomers with a unique blend of enthusiasm and hospitable warmth.

With that in mind, we would like to extend an invitation to answer a few questions via one of our fan based blogs, Burner’s Burning Questions – a weekly interactive feature that poses questions to our membership. For this week, the BBQ blog would like to step out of its comfortable settings and invite you to be a part of our Q and A. In light of recent articles via your site (ProFootballTalk.com), the focus of our conversation will center on the team name. The popular moniker has certainly come under fire from your web site and from other media outlets. With this in mind, we are not seeking a heated confrontation or a shouting match, just a brief dialogue where you will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

1. You often cite Oneida Nation as the one Native American tribe who is seemingly united against the team name. In all honesty, is this the only tribe that objects and if so, why are the others refusing to take such a stand?

2. Staying with the Oneida, the protest against the Redskins drew somewhere between nine and thirteen participants (depending on media reports) to the early season game at Lambeau field against the Packers. Some reports have intimated that Ray Halbritter is not the preferred representative of the Oneida people and that he is an Ivy League educated entrepreneur who has taken on this task due to his wealth. Too, many in the Oneida Nation consider him to be a "fake chief". Could it be that he is simply looking for financial gain at the expense of his tribe and is PFT willing to do a true and thorough investigation to see if this is the case?

3. Which is better and more important - dropping the team name because some find it offensive or focusing/dealing with issues in the Native American tribes such as extreme poverty, lack of educational resources, severe drug abuse, alcoholism, infant mortality, suicide rates, teenage pregnancy, housing shortages, discord within tribes (i.e., the enormous gap between wealthy leaders and members), and lack of health/mental health facilities?

4. Considering the aforementioned question, if team names that feature Native Americans are discarded, do we run the risk of forgetting and ignoring their many issues altogether?

5. The common argument for discarding the name is that it is racist. However, there are reservations where the local high school team uses the name freely and openly. The common argument is that this is their right, but non-Native teams should not be afforded that opportunity. If this is truly the case, then is a school or university in a predominantly African American community allowed to use the “n-word” as their nickname? If not, then should the same type of requirement be extended to Native American schools?

Mr Florio, we hope you will take the time to answer these questions without bias and political persuasion. If you desire to have a follow up session with our site membership, we will be glad to extend that courtesy to you. All interaction will be professional and without malice. Thank you for taking the time to read these questions and taking our offer into consideration.

Burner’s Burning Questions at BGO
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