Redskins: Miami offers to help Washington NFL franchise with name change

With the Washington Redskins being all but forced into changing their name, numerous people have come forward with possible alternatives.

The Americans, the Warriors, the historically motivated Redtails and various other replacement monikers have been tossed up via social media. Grover Norquirst, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, told BuzzFeed he'd like to see the franchise rebranded as the Washington Reagans.

While there are countless names the franchise could go with, the people at Miami University suggested via Twitter they’d be willing to help out with the name-change process. After all, they have the unique perspective of having used the nickname for nearly 70 years before making a change.

Before the early 1930s, Miami University went by various nicknames including the Miami Boys, the Big Reds, and the Reds and Whites. That began to change in 1928, however, when a Miami student referred to one of the athletic teams as the Big Red-Skinned Warriors.

By 1931, the Redskins had stuck as the university's nickname, and became the official symbol of the school's athletics program.

However, in the early '90s the nickname and term came under fire and was labeled "usually offensive", "disparaging", "insulting" and "taboo," given a racist 19th century view of race and ethnicity that was largely based on skin color.

In mid-1997, at the urging from Dr. Myrtis Powell who went to the Oklahoma-based Miami Tribe for support, the Miami University Redskins officially changed their name to the RedHawks. Their mascot is Swoop the RedHawk.

The NFL on Fox Twitter account poked at Miami a bit, referring to them as "trolling" Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and the franchise a bit. But MU pushed back in good fun.

Several other colleges and universities have made the name change in recent years, most notably the University of Utah (now the Utes) and Southern Nazarene, an NAIA program that now goes by the Crimson Storm.

At least one Tri-State school, Anderson High School, still uses the Redskins moniker as its mascot and team nickname.

WCPO has reached out to Anderson for comment.

Numerous other colleges and universities have made the decision to stop using names related to Native American or American Indian culture.

Other Ohio high schools use names such as the Braves (Indian Hill and Talawanda) and the Indians (Cincinnati Country Day, Fairfield, Hillsboro, Norwood). However, those names haven’t come under as much fire, largely because they’re not perceived as playing on negative racial stereotypes.

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