California Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law the California Racial Mascots Act, banning, among other things, the epithet “Redskins” from use as a school sports team name or mascot throughout the state.

NBC News reports the law will go into effect on January 1, 2017, presumably to give the four schools currently using the slur way more time than they need to come up with new names. Notably, there are at least a million billion synonyms for “large ferocious cat” available for this kind of thing. Pick one.

In a joint statement with the nonprofit group Change the Mascot, the National Congress of American Indians praised California for “standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state’s schools.”

“They have set a shining example for other states across the country, and for the next generation, by demonstrating a commitment to the American ideals of inclusion and mutual respect,” it said.

As Baxter Holmes explained in Esquire last year, the name is nothing like a symbol of pride and heritage, as its defenders continue to insist:

Spencer Phips, a British politician and then Lieutenant Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Province, issued the call, ordering on behalf of British King George II for, “His Majesty’s subjects to Embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and Destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians.” They paid well – 50 pounds for adult male scalps; 25 for adult female scalps; and 20 for scalps of boys and girls under age 12.

These bloody scalps were known as “redskins.”

The support of the National Congress of American Indians should serve as fairly unambiguous evidence that the name is actively offensive to the exact people to whom it refers, but will this convince the name’s dug-in supporters? Michelle Nunley, President of Tulare Union High School in Tulare, California, says “nah.”

“People feel very passionate about it, and the fact that we’re all Redskins. We don’t want to lose that opportunity to remain Redskins here at Tulare Union.”

Listen. People will be just as passionate about being the Panthers, as evidenced by the fact that 48 schools in California have chosen that as their mascot. The only people left on the wrong side of this are idiots, truthers, and Dan Snyder.


Photo via AP