As an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, I despise the Washington Redskins and don’t care what they will inevitably change their name to because of PC pressure – Deadskins has always been fine with me. But, Bob Costas aside, nobody uses the term “Redskins” in a derogatory way. Their emblem on their helmets depicts a proud, dignified American Indian. First recorded use of the term was in a letter from a colonist, Samuel Smith,
“”My father ever declardt there would not be so much to feare iff ye Red Skins was treated with suche mixture of Justice & Authority as they cld understand”.
Renowned Smithsonian linguist, Ives Goddard, thinks the letter a fake. He states that the first use was actually by an American Indian himself – Illinois chief, Mosquito, in 1769 –
“I shall be pleased to have you come to speak to me yourself. And if any redskins do you harm, I shall be able to look out for you even at the peril of my life.”
Had a lot to do with red paint on their skin. Not derogatory then; not derogatory now. Much ado about nothing.