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Posted at 9:37 AM ET, 10/22/2009

Why Chief Zee Matters

By editors

By Bernard G. Elliker

Courtland Milloy missed the point entirely in characterizing unofficial Washington Redskins mascot “Chief Zee” as a pathetic reminder of, as the headline said, a “sorry tradition” of denigrating Native Americans [Metro, Oct. 21]. On the contrary, Chief Zee remains a comforting sight on the sidelines, because he is one of the few connections we have left to the franchise’s greatest days, when we fans immersed ourselves in a love-in for our beloved Redskins.

As a member of the Washington Redskins Marching Band for more than 35 years, I had the privilege of a front-row seat at wonderful RFK Stadium, and I glory in those days of yore: George Allen, Sonny and Sam, Joe Gibbs, the Hogs and the Smurfs, John Riggins, Mark Moseley’s winning in-the-snow field goal, Art Monk, Charlie Taylor, Bobby Mitchell, the bouncing stands on the 50-yard line.

It was an electric feeling of something beyond description, and Chief Zee was always there, a part of the scene. When the Redskins moved to the sterile FedEx field mausoleum, that spirit never really came with them. It seemed to disappear altogether with the sale to the current ownership.

But the band plays on, and Chief Zee is there, and maybe, just maybe, someday we will recapture what those days were all about. But I fear that will never happen, and as, one after another, the remaining traditions are torn away, I weep for those brilliant October Sundays and what once was the greatest show on earth.

By editors  | October 22, 2009; 9:37 AM ET
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Still waiting for the Post to send a reporter out west to Red Mesa High School in Red Mesa, Arizona. The reporter can interview members of the high school football team. Their name is the Redskins. Their opinion on the name would be interesting. That's because the school is located on the Navajo Indian reservation. The Navajo are the largest tribe in the U.S. and obviously the name is not offensive to them.
This whole issue is a J-O-K-E.

Posted by: CharlieTrew | October 22, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Milloy is nothing but a P.C. mope

Posted by: rg019571 | October 23, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

And to back up Mr.
Trew's comments, there are many native American tribes in Montana, where I live, that have names like warriors, braves and the like. I know many Indians who are very proud of the Redskins name. The logo, for Pete's sake, was the contribution of a Blackfeet Indian working in the Kennedy Administration. This is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. If they were truly going after demeaning symbols, they weould be all over that outrageous symbol of the Cleveland Indians, and they would be right.

Posted by: mtskins | October 23, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Courtland Milloy takes the safe PC route.

What did he say about the folks who protested an Asian/white female queen at Hampton?

I am still waiting to hear.

About time for another blood wash, Court?

Posted by: jbartelloni | October 24, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, I couldn't say it any better.

Sandi Mohler
K-line Retiree

Posted by: smohler | October 25, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

As a Native American (Ojibwe) attorney living and working DC, "Chief" Zee is neither a "Chief" nor does he matter.

he sets a terrible example for other African Americans, particularly children, by thinking that's its acceptable to ridicule the cultural dress of America's First People.

Ethnic mascots are not acceptable in any sport, whether it be the "Fighting Irish" or the "Redskins", "Indians" or "Braves".

Grow up DC. Especially the minority community which wears the DC Football teams gear with "Pride". They should be the most ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 26, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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