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Should Robinson mascot remain the Redskins?

Editorial Board • Jan 15, 2018 at 1:38 PM

Kingsport school officials are planning for the eventual takeover of Sullivan North High School as one of two city middle schools and as part of that are deciding whether the schools should be re-branded.

Currently, one of the schools uses a Warrior mascot, and the other a Redskins mascot.

We’d like to see the Warrior brand continue at North when it becomes a middle school as a tribute to our extensive Native American history. But the Redskins brand is sure to come up for debate.

For many years, Ross N. Robinson Middle School has used the Redskins mascot. Though it was never intended to, in any way, disparage Native Americans, the fact is that the word “Redskins” originated as a racial slur to describe Native Americans.

The word came into controversy in recent years over its use as the brand of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer protecting its trademarked use as protected speech, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder says the name honors Native American heritage and he has no plans to change it. For that matter, a poll found that nine in 10 Native Americans of 500 asked said they are not offended by it and do not insist that the football team’s name be changed.

Do you think it offensive for Ross N. Robinson to continue to use “Redskins” as the school mascot? Why?

Should the other city middle school continue to use the word “Warriors” as its mascot? Or does that word have a different connotation?

If you were to re-brand the city’s two middle schools, what names would you choose?

Send your comments to letters@timesnews.net . Include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes. And thanks for your opinion.

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