Last week, the Anti-Defamation League joined a number of groups and politicians urging the Washington Redskins to change their team’s name, already.
Here’s another Jewish wrinkle: The Onion just posted an article that uses two anti-Jewish slurs (one twice) and two adjectival stereotypes to describe Redskins owner Dan Snyder and skewer his insistence that his team’s name is respectful of Native Americans. (There is a precedent for roping anti-Semitism into a Redskins controversy — Snyder himself claimed in 2011 that a childish caricature of him in a local paper was anti-Semitic.)
The ADL is not the first national Jewish group to call for a Redskins name change. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism wrote to Snyder in 2000 urging him to do so. That letter cited a 1992 resolution by the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis that condemned stereotypical team names and specifically urging the Redskins to change their name. The issue of Native American team names is not just a D.C. issue; the Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council and the Wisconsin Jewish Conference, a statewide umbrella body, this month led a coalition of groups opposing a bill that would make more difficult for public schools to change ethnically charged team names.