“Digging in our heels and pissing on public opinion is what the Washington R*****ns is all about!” – Cartman (South Park)
This week there was two shows that covered the major NFL issue that is being drowned out by the current Ray Rice scandal (although domestic abuse is still an important topic). One was Jon Stewart’s coverage on the Daily Show that brought in Native American activists, some from the 1491s. The segment can be seen here and generally speaks for itself:
The other was South Park, for the full episode click here.
In the episode entitled, “Go Fund Yourself,” the boys of South Park created a start up company that does absolutely nothing. The debate over its name followed soon after, until Cartman chooses the Washington R*****ns after finding out that the trademark for the team was lifted.*
After declaring their company’s name, Dan Snyder was introduced into the episode to plead that they stop using the trademark and name because it was unfair and that it offended the football team. Snyder asks Cartman to change the name and his response was, “We have total respect for you. When we named our company the Washington R*****ns it was out of deep appreciation for your team and your people… ” Cartman finished his statement that he won’t change it out of sheer decency because he doesn’t want to and that it will be “super-hard”. The writers are so clearly mocking Dan Snyder’s response to the countless pleas from native people to change the name.
The writers also reference back to the 1971 Keep America Beautiful commercial featuring Iron Eyes Cody, however, they show Snyder picking up a newspaper on the Washington team and looking into the camera with a tear in his eye.
Following this they touched on the Ray Rice scandal as well as the lack of responsibility and action from NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. They turned him into a glitching robot, repeating his actual statements as his voice-over, pointing out that Goodell has done and confirmed nothing about both of the situations.
The other topic that this episode so eloquently touched on was the its referencing of the “big F*** you” that the team and Snyder had given native people and other supporters by creating their “Original Americans Foundation” to ‘benefit’ native people.
The final few moments of the show depicts Snyder on the football field alone facing the Cowboys. Snyder gets pummeled and tackled multiple times and getting back up every time as crowd member yells out “just stay down” showing how Snyder makes things worse, for himself, his team and native people, by persisting on the subject. The show closes with a protest on the boy’s company and that it was demeaning everything the fans had stood for. The boys had given up on the fight for it and walked away.
The play in these popular programs, shows that the Washington team, its offensive name, and actions is allowing for Natives to finally be heard on a subject that isn’t about gambling.
For more information on the Original Americans Foundation and its insult to native people check out my article on XoJane.com.
*The Court has in fact decided to let the team keep the trademark while their court appeals are being processing.