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Posted at 1:32 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Men in headdresses at Redskins training camp

By Dan Steinberg

I have no idea what is happening in this 1938 Redskins training camp photo, which Rick Snider miraculously dug out of the Library of Congress archives. I tried to breeze through The Post archives from that summer, but all I found were clips like this:

With a derisive whoop for the hot weather man, a daring band of Washington Redskins swapped war paint and head dress for more comfortable shorts and jerseys yesterday to swelter through their first football practices of the season at Ballston Stadium....

Thirty-six players, of whom 18 were rookies, answered the morning call. Notable absences were Slingin' Sam Baugh, Andy Farkas, Roy Young, Max Krause, Ed Britt and Johnny Sprida. Baugh, however, arrived by plane just before lunch and participated in the afternoon drill....

The morning practice was not open to the public, but a shirt-sleeved crowd of about 200 was in the stands for the later session.The workouts consisted mostly of limbering exercises, although Baugh, Riley Smith and newcomers Jim Abitt and Leroy (Soup" Campbell passed to other backs and ends.

Did these fellas quite literally swap war paint and head dress for shorts and jerseys? Who are these men in the air, pictured above? And did Andy Farkas get crushed in the press for missing the beginning of training camp? I'm not sure about any of that. As with many instances of white people dressing up in humorous costumes meant to portray non-white people, this image makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, though I know certain commenters will rush into the comments section to talk about my ridiculous liberal guilt.

Anyhow, if you haven't read it -- and I know you have -- this is what Dan Snyder said when he was recently asked about squaring his anti-Semitism claims with the name of his football team.

"Obviously you've not read some of the history of the Redskins and the name of the team and what it means and what the name Redskin means," he told 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes. "You've seen a lot of lawsuits, and a lot of victories from the standpoint of the Redskins, overcoming those suits. But I think what's most important is what the Redskins are all about is the tradition of the Redskins, of fighting for old D.C., victory. The terminology Redskin is not meant to be offensive whatsoever, and to compare that is silly. I'm sure it makes for good copy here and there, but you're talking about two separate things."

By Dan Steinberg  | February 15, 2011; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Media members attempting trampoline dunks


that's a pretty rad picture!

Posted by: dpierce4g63 | February 15, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

why would that make you uncomfortable? You are a wussy with a p.

Posted by: Hondo5 | February 15, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

9% of native americans dislike the name.

Posted by: Hondo5 | February 15, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

2 points here:

I have some very close friends with Native American ancestry and they find it laughable that people cry racism when discussing the "Redskin" moniker. Especially when those beating the drum the loudest are whiter than snow people like Mike Wise and Steinberg. BTW, co-sign on being a wussy for feeling uncomfortable. Grow a pair.

Second, I know Dan Snyder meant well when he made the "fight for old D.C." reference but that is kind of ridiculous considering the ORIGINAL lines that were modified were "fight for old DIXIE," as in the South. Which obviously, opens a whole other can of worms.

Posted by: PropJoe | February 15, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Just change the nickname to the Warriors and keep but tone down the Native American theme some and everything will be cool. I wish Snyder would strike up a relationship with local or national native american groups and donate to their causes as a good gesture PR move. Then again what does Snyder know about good PR?

Posted by: MrWillie | February 15, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse


9% of native americans dislike the name."

Based on 768 responses captured over nearly a year? Did Danny pay for this nonsense?

Let me know what the negative response is on Pine Ridge Reservation. Or go down to Arizona and ask a Navajo or Hopi.

My fullblood grandfather saw the path to a better life for his progeny by having them turn their backs on their tribe and "act white". If you want to survive in this country, "forget your language and culture". It's exactly what the Carlisle School and its ilk wanted to happen. Take the Indian out of the Indian and "make 'em civilized".

The local NFL team is a disgrace on many levels, but changing the name would be an easy step in the right direction.

Posted by: rdpinva | February 15, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Fightin' Whities FTW

Posted by: PropJoe | February 15, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

It's not "Liberal Guilt" it is "White Liberal Guilt."

Posted by: CapsNut | February 15, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Rdpinva. It's funny you mention Arizona. Ask any skins fan who has traveled to a game there how many skins fans are there. A large percentage are native Americans. I've witnessed it 3 times. Further, you can ignore surveys all you want, but the fact that 9% is the result that you don't like is telling.

Posted by: JDB1 | February 15, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's not "Liberal Guilt" it is "White Liberal Guilt."

Posted by: CapsNut | February 15, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I would like to note I am a liberal and suffer none of this guilt. I find the only liberals who suffer from liberal guilt are the ones who sell out and screw over the world to make a buck..

Also, BALSTON STADIUM, same place the Caps now practice.

Kinda cool for this Native Washingtonian/ Arlingtonian.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 15, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget this quote from Adolf Hitler when talking about colonizing Russia: "There's only one duty: to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans and to look upon the natives as Redskins." (Hitler: a study in tyranny, by Allan Bullock, pg. 385)

Posted by: jmarks09 | February 15, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

in comparison with other sports teams whose names refer to Native Americans, the Redskins' emblem portrays the red man with nothing but respect, so far as I can tell—and I don't recall it being otherwise in my personal experience, which dates back to the year before we traded Snead for Jurgensen.

Posted by: 2Pass | February 17, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

That's ridiculous liberal guilt.

Posted by: williambainesjr | February 17, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

That's ridiculous liberal guilt.

Posted by: williambainesjr | February 17, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

You can say that again.

Posted by: williambainesjr | February 18, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

You can say that again.

Posted by: williambainesjr | February 18, 2011 2:49 AM | Report abuse

You can say that again.

Posted by: williambainesjr | February 18, 2011 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Now that they neither practice nor play in Washington, what about renaming them the Maryland Muffins or the Landover Losers?

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 20, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

OK rdpinva how about this one which polled Indians across the nation both on and off reservations:

I know a liaison for the US GOV to some reservations in the Nations and his response unequivocal and filled with laughter. You're just barking up the wrong tree when the top 3 Indian nicknames for their own teams include Redskins and Blackhawk, names that folks like Steinberg here swear up and down are offensive.

It's really simple...if they are SO offensive then why do the Indians name themselves these horrible names more than any other available team nicknames?

Posted by: tgordon7226 | February 21, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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