The NFL season opens tonight between the Seahawks and Packers, but once again it's the Washington Redskins at the forefront of the headlines.

This time it's because of the New York Daily News' decision to omit the team's logo and name from the paper going forward. The paper says it will use the image above as the team's logo and refer to the Redskins only as "Washington."


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They explained the decision in an op-ed entitled, "Sack the name."

Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes. No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.

Loyalty, tradition, affection and nostalgia all weigh heavily toward accepting the name as an artifact that has been cleansed of derogatory meaning by association with celebrated athletics.

While the team ownership and many fans hold such a belief in good faith, the inescapable truth is that the term Redskin derives solely from the racial characteristic of skin tone in a society that is struggling mightily to be color-blind.

Still more, many Native Americans view the word as a slur born in the country’s inglorious victimization of their ancestors. Their representatives have persuaded a federal panel to rule that the team name and logo are offensive and should be stripped of U.S. trademark protection.

Why drop the term now? Why not yesterday or last year? The answer is that, as attitudes evolve, words can move from common parlance to unacceptable in good company.

See the end of “Negro” and the rise of “black” or “African-American,” the end of “retarded” and the rise of “developmentally disabled,” the end of “handicapped” and the rise of “people with disabilities.”

Here’s a simple test of whether Redskin passes muster: Would you use the term in referring to Native Americans in anything other than a derogatory way?

The answer, of course, is no. So it will pass from stories and columns chronicling Washington’s ups and downs. An inextricable extension of the brand, the logo will go as well.

Brian Kilmeade believes this controversy over the name is getting a little ridiculous. Do you agree?