Progressives Are Using ‘Woke’ Statism To Pressure Redskins

Susan Walsh
AP featured image
FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2010, file photo, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan watches warm ups before a preseason NFL football game against Baltimore Ravens in Landover, Md. Not long after becoming the Redskins’ coach, Shanahan invited every team employee _ from marketing executives to secretaries to coaches _ to a meeting. The message: This is a new Redskin Way, and every single person needs to be on board. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)


After what seems like a millennium of debates on the subject, the Washington Redskins is considering changing the team name. The progressive left has been seizing the opportunity to push their racial agenda in the public sphere amid heightened racial tensions stemming from a series of stories involving the unjust killing of black Americans. 

The NFL team recently announced that they will conduct a “thorough review” of the team name and look at alternatives to replace the moniker. Leftist activists have increased pressure on the organization and sponsors have threatened the team. PepsiCo, Nike, and FedEx have indicated that they would end their relationships with the team if it refused to change its name. 

But even worse, D.C.’s government has used its leverage to apply even more pressure. D.C. officials issued another threat, stating that they would not relocate within the city if the team fails to change its branding. The team currently plays at FedEx field in Maryland. 

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said, “Dan Snyder should know, surely, there is no hope of bringing the team back with that name.” 

In an appearance on Fox News, she called on Dan Snyder, the owner of the Redskins, to “face that reality since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital.” She added, “He has got a problem he can’t get around — and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.” 


John Falcicchio, D.C.’s Deputy Mayor echoed Norton’s comments: “There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name.”

Snyder has resisted changing the name of the team for years. But now, it seems that this change is forthcoming. But it appears that D.C.’s government has set a dangerous precedent in their actions against the team. 

It is appropriate for corporations and individuals to use their buying power to affect change. While we may not agree with their stances, we understand that the free market is the more desirable force in American society. We vote with our dollars. 

However, when the government steps in to exert influence on a private organization, it is a cause for concern. It is one thing for government officials to express their opinions on a matter. But it is quite another to use their power to force a private company to do its bidding. 

The fact that D.C.’s threat flew under the radar demonstrates how pernicious a precedent this is setting. Many criticized the activists pushing the company to alter its branding, but little attention is being paid to the fact that progressives are using the state to enforce the precepts of wokeism on a private company. 

There is a reason for this. 

It has become apparent over the past few years that the far left is not interested in persuasion and debate. As the nation is distracted by the red herrings the corporate media is dangling in front of us, the left is seeking more ways to use government force to push its agenda. It’s similar to when New York City passed a measure to make using the term “illegal alien” illegal. 


While we tend to focus on progressive activity at the federal level, this provides another example of how the far-left is pushing its ideology even in local matters. This is why it is essential that we not lose sight of what is happening in our cities and counties. Otherwise, the left will be able to push Marxism incrementally throughout the U.S. 


Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

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