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#1 Posted by theinvinciblemark (37 posts) -

As many of you might have heard by now, there is a not-small controversy about the name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C. For those of you that aren't familiar, the basic gist of it is that the team name is an old racist slur for Native Americans and is found by many to still be incredibly offensive. There has been some effort by the team owner, Dan Snyder, to prove that the name is inoffensive by essentially paying certain members of the Native community to say as much (Dan Snyder is a reprehensible human being for dozens of reasons, but they are mostly immaterial here). There has already been a lot of controversy over the name itself, but to this point the NFL has pretty much refused to force a name change, in large part because the team in question is one of the oldest and most popular in the league. However, the NFL's refusal to act ends where its authority does. To that end, I started a petition on Change.org telling the ESRB that if Madden '15 continues to use a racial slur it should be treated as any other game that repeatedly uses inappropriate language and rated "M." This serves two purposes: First, it shows the Native community that they are not respected less than any other community by eliminating the double standard that restricts use of slurs for other races and not Natives, and second it hurts the sale of Madden by restricting its sales at many stores, sending a clear message that the NFL will lose value to its various properties by continuing to use a slur.

If you would like to see the petition or sign it, it's located here:

Petition

Does anyone have any thoughts, questions, or concerns about this? Does the ESRB even respond to this sort of thing?

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#2 Posted by ch3burashka (6087 posts) -

Finally, a petition I can sign that will make a difference.

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#3 Edited by theinvinciblemark (37 posts) -

I really hope nobody ever writes a petition with the expectation that it will actually make a difference. The point of a petition is to keep people talking. They're just to show that x number of people share an opinion.

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#4 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

interesting, clever way to make a change especially on such a terrible name.

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#6 Posted by Menseguez (191 posts) -

I very much support this cause. There are definitely many, many issues with how indigenous people are depicted and treated in North America. However, there's money involved here so I don't see this changing anything, regardless of how just the cause is. Additionally I did not sign the petition because I'm not comfortable with giving them my address as they reserve the right to send me junk in the mail (my tinfoil hat only protects me against aliens so I have to take these precautions :P). Yes, I realise that it's an authentication thing to make sure that you're not spamming signatures but it seems a bit excessive maybe?

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#8 Edited by Corevi (6795 posts) -

I don't see why you are taking the fight to madden, it's not EA's fault that one of the teams has a garbage name. Also petitions don't do shit.

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#9 Posted by bigjeffrey (5282 posts) -

Que?

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#10 Posted by smokeyd123 (361 posts) -

I see your point, and can dig the idea of using a petition to try and keep people interested. But like @corruptedevil said, why take it up with EA? They have no real control over the issue.

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#11 Edited by Haruko (523 posts) -

Really want to make a difference there don't ya. Aiming real high. While your at it the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Black Hawks are all ok then I guess.

Seriously man pick your battles if you have an issue with the name take it up with someone who can actually make a fucking difference like the NFL. While I'm pretty darn anti-EA they are 100% in the right here and you doing something like this is nothing but a complete waste of time and effort for everyone involved.

Also would love a count of how many Weedlord BonerHitler signatures you get thanks in advance.

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#12 Posted by theinvinciblemark (37 posts) -

I very much support this cause. There are definitely many, many issues with how indigenous people are depicted and treated in North America. However, there's money involved here so I don't see this changing anything, regardless of how just the cause is. Additionally I did not sign the petition because I'm not comfortable with giving them my address as they reserve the right to send me junk in the mail (my tinfoil hat only protects me against aliens so I have to take these precautions :P). Yes, I realise that it's an authentication thing to make sure that you're not spamming signatures but it seems a bit excessive maybe?

I definitely feel this. This is actually linked to my spam email for exactly that reason. And no, it almost definitely wouldn't achieve its intended result. It's just a way to remind everyone that this is a real issue and keep the conversation going.

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#13 Posted by amp_1986 (277 posts) -

When I saw the thread title I was really worried this thread was going to have something to do with Michael Sam.

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#14 Posted by joshwent (2897 posts) -

First, it shows the Native community that they are not respected less than any other community by eliminating the double standard that restricts use of slurs for other races and not Natives,

No buddy, it doesn't. Centuries old genocide, obliterated culture, lack of any real resources and no political voice doesn't get changed by the name of a football team... in a video game. If changing one instance of one word that no one says with racist intentions in one version of one videogame could do anything to help the actual plight of Native Americans, then this would be a great use of time. As it is, I can't imagine any lower-hanging fruit to go after than this.

I sincerely applaud your desire to aid in this struggle to improve the lives of these systematically downtrodden people, but this petition in the greater scheme is utterly insignificant. If you are as dedicated as it seems, there are more direct ways you can help. Check out these links:

https://www.naha-inc.org/

http://www.collegefund.org/

http://www.nrcprograms.org/

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#15 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

So attack a video game because of they include a teams name which is vaguely racist?
Seems stupid and misguided to me. Also from the language and word choice the thread maker seems to not be native american him/her self. So uh, seems a bit awkward all around.

Either way, its dumb to attack a video game franchise who has no power over the team, and would ultimately not do a single thing other than hurt that video game franchise. But meh, petitions, especially online ones are pretty worthless.

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#16 Edited by theinvinciblemark (37 posts) -

@haruko said:

Really want to make a difference there don't ya. Aiming real high. While your at it the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Black Hawks are all ok then I guess.

Seriously man pick your battles if you have an issue with the name take it up with someone who can actually make a fucking difference like the NFL. While I'm pretty darn anti-EA they are 100% in the right here and you doing something like this is nothing but a complete waste of time and effort for everyone involved.

First, none of the names you listed are slurs. Yes, there are some complaints to be made about some of those teams (that Cleveland Indians mascot, woof), but none of those names carry the same connotations as the name of the D.C. team. Secondly, I think you really overestimate how hard it is to make a petition. It took 5 minutes to type that whole thing up and less than a minute for those who want to sign it. It isn't difficult at all, and it certainly isn't a battle.

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#17 Posted by MightyDuck (1835 posts) -

@haruko: The Chicago Blackhawks actually have pretty good ties set up with local Native Americans. Very often they have various members of tribes come out to the games to be honored during the National Anthem and other things of that nature.

There is nothing negative about their team name.

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#18 Posted by RonGalaxy (4613 posts) -

I totally agree that its fucking dumb and insensitive for a major team to be called that, but it's the NFL. They've got all the power in this situation. You're Winston Smith and they're the government in 1984, and the people who like football are the proles (for the most part) who don't give a fuck and just drink themselves silly. Yes, this allegory is really dumb, but whatever. And attacking the equivalent to a pinky toe of the organization (the madden series' esrb rating) is silly.

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#19 Posted by slyspider (1735 posts) -

Wait, what? How will this do anything? This is the equivalent of being angry at the government and punching the postal guy

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#20 Posted by joshwent (2897 posts) -

It took 5 minutes to type that whole thing up and less than a minute for those who want to sign it. It isn't difficult at all, and it certainly isn't a battle.

Maybe that should tell you something about the kind of impact this will make.

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#21 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

@theinvinciblemark: Yes im playing "i know people from ____ group and ____" card but..... I've known many native americans and they all were far more offended at being called "indians" than any other slur.

Not really relevant though. Attacking a video game company for merely having the teams in their game is well, a waste of everyones time at best, and at worst needlessly harmful to a loved video game franchise (that i don't care for).

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#22 Posted by turboman (9044 posts) -

Not going to happen. Also, not Madden's problem.

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#23 Edited by theinvinciblemark (37 posts) -

I totally agree that its fucking dumb and insensitive for a major team to be called that, but it's the NFL. They've got all the power in this situation. You're Winston Smith and they're the government in 1984, and the people who like football are the proles (for the most part) who don't give a fuck and just drink themselves silly. Yes, this allegory is really dumb, but whatever. And attacking the equivalent to a pinky toe of the organization (the madden series' esrb rating) is silly.

It's interesting that you say this, because the rating of the game does make a difference to its sales (as I said before, an M rated game can't be bought by minors at most major chain stores). Hurting the value of licensed NFL properties hurts the value of the NFL license. Also, the reason I chose the game is because there is a legitimate argument to be made that the slur should be treated like any other slur in the eyes of the ESRB. I cannot think of a single game where a slur is used that is rated E except for Madden.

Also, there's plenty of ways EA could remedy the situation. They could rename the team in game (as they do for Bill Belichick every year because they aren't allowed to use his likeness. They call him Chad Masters instead). They could just call the team "Washington." There are plenty of different things they can do while still producing a game equal to the quality of a traditional Madden game.

Finally, I've already shared my position re: the "usefulness" of petitions. To anyone that thinks I'm wasting my time, I would like to heartily thank you for caring so much about me that you would go out of your way to tell me so. Fortunately for me, I literally don't have to do anything for it from this point forward. This is a way to say something. I've said it.

Also, @joshwent, I donate $20 to the Heritage Association on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. It isn't much but it's all I can afford, and those two holidays represent a lot of really bad things to Natives and how poorly they've been treated.

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#24 Edited by w1n5t0n (177 posts) -

@theinvinciblemark said:

@narujoe93 said:

I totally agree that its fucking dumb and insensitive for a major team to be called that, but it's the NFL. They've got all the power in this situation. You're Winston Smith and they're the government in 1984, and the people who like football are the proles (for the most part) who don't give a fuck and just drink themselves silly. Yes, this allegory is really dumb, but whatever. And attacking the equivalent to a pinky toe of the organization (the madden series' esrb rating) is silly.

It's interesting that you say this, because the rating of the game does make a difference to its sales (as I said before, an M rated game can't be bought by minors at most major chain stores). Hurting the value of licensed NFL properties hurts the value of the NFL license. Also, the reason I chose the game is because there is a legitimate argument to be made that the slur should be treated like any other slur in the eyes of the ESRB. I cannot think of a single game where a slur is used that is rated E except for Madden.

Also, there's plenty of ways EA could remedy the situation. They could rename the team in game (as they do for Bill Belichick every year because they aren't allowed to use his likeness. They call him Chad Masters instead). They could just call the team "Washington." There are plenty of different things they can do while still producing a game equal to the quality of a traditional Madden game.

Finally, I've already shared my position re: the "usefulness" of petitions. To anyone that thinks I'm wasting my time, I would like to heartily thank you for caring so much about me that you would go out of your way to tell me so. Fortunately for me, I literally don't have to do anything for it from this point forward. This is a way to say something. I've said it.

Also, @joshwent, I donate $20 to the Heritage Association on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. It isn't much but it's all I can afford, and those two holidays represent a lot of really bad things to Natives and how poorly they've been treated.

I'd say a very large portion of Madden's audience don't care about the name. A poll by Public Policy Polling show 71% people are apposed to a name change and 11% are undecided.

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#25 Edited by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

There are several reasons why this makes no sense.

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#26 Posted by mosespippy (4750 posts) -

At first I thought this topic was going to be about taking a stand over something dumb like an openly gay football player. I was simultaneously wrong and right.

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#27 Posted by LordAndrew (14601 posts) -

Bring back Blitz: The League.

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#28 Posted by RonGalaxy (4613 posts) -

@theinvinciblemark: I don't even know how to respond to this. I could go about it in a detailed manner, but at the end of the day, you're making a misguided attempt to get a football team to change its name (for a good reason), are acting disinterested about the outcome, and are being kind of snippy about it. All I can say is what I already said, plus... good luck with that!

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#29 Posted by Fluttercry (287 posts) -

>implying petitions mean anything

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#30 Posted by Professionlol (130 posts) -
@turboman said:

Not going to happen. Also, not Madden's problem.

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#31 Posted by Hayt (1238 posts) -

The weirdest thing in this thread is everyone talking around the name so hard that I had to google to find out what the name even was. It's Redskins apparently, which means you're probably going to have beef with Willy Wonka as well.

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#32 Posted by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

What about the Cleveland Indians?

But seriously attacking a video game over this issue is ridiculous. Even if the rating changed nothing remotely relevant would have been accomplished for those who feel wronged by the team's name.

Avatar image for theinvinciblemark
#34 Edited by theinvinciblemark (37 posts) -

@narujoe93: Sorry I seem disinterested, it's just that one honestly can't have any expectations for results an online petition and be sane. I'm not some wide-eyed toddler that thinks that internet petitions regularly (or ever!) produce results. I also don't mean to be snippy, I'm just surprised at all the people who felt the need to use their time to tell me I've wasted mine. They've already chosen their view and I know I won't change their mind.

Bring back Blitz: The League.

This is also a good point.

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#35 Edited by jakob187 (22914 posts) -

I'll sign it, but it's mostly because I wanna see how funny it will be whenever a Wal-Mart employee won't sell a copy of Madden to someone under 17 and then the bullshit EA would go through with it...although that would never happen.

In all seriousness, though, I support the cause of changing the name, but as it has been previously stated, there are far bigger things to handle about the Native American plights in this country.

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#36 Edited by Kiemoe (1094 posts) -

As a Native American and Redskins fan, I take no offense from Washington's team name, and don't really care if they change it. I totally respect your prerogative to make the change, and would welcome it if it happened to come, though. That being said, I would much rather see Americans acknowledge atrocities such as celebrating men like Andrew Jackson by putting him on our bills over a word in a video game.

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#37 Posted by JasonR86 (10173 posts) -

Besides my snarky comment, EA makes money off of Madden. Not the NFL. Hurting EA's profit won't hurt the NFL. Also EA has no control over the names of teams. They have no influence over the NFL. This petition shows no understanding of the nature of business and licensing. Hurt Washington's budget. Hurt the NFL's budget. They can actually do something to change this. It isn't always about video games dudes.

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#38 Edited by natedynamic (68 posts) -

I'm not sure why so many people took the time to tell the OP that it's pointless to spend his time on this. At best, I think that is some form of irony.

Also, while I do believe that the poll is almost certain to be insignificant, I think it's a bit on the shark-jumpy side to argue against it. Sports thrive on sponsorship and licensing and all of it comes back to public opinion. Putting more eyes on the issue is the only way for change to have even the slightest chance. A $20 donation to is insignificant too, but not if it's from even a few hundred people.

Making the argument that a contribution is too small to have any value is the reason the US government is a non-participatory, incestuous, gerrymandering mess. Feels like we should be supporting anyone who is actually willing to believe something enough to do anything at all.

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#39 Posted by audioBusting (2499 posts) -

I support the cause, but saying that ESRB should increase the rating so that it'll hurt sales seems 1) mean-spirited and 2) giving credence to the naming of the team in the first place. I don't like the idea of goading people into ethical behavior via negative economic incentives either.

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#40 Posted by joshwent (2897 posts) -

I donate $20 to the Heritage Association on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. It isn't much but it's all I can afford, and those two holidays represent a lot of really bad things to Natives and how poorly they've been treated.

That's a fantastic idea and gesture, especially if it's all you can afford. To the larger point, though, I don't think I made myself clear with my first response. I wouldn't say you're wasting your time. I'd say you're unfortunately actively supporting an unproductive and derailing movement.

If the word Redskins was eradicated from the entire planet, nothing would change to improve the difficult situation that many native people are in. At the same time, many folks who are fans of that team, confused by the proposed change, or unaware of the state of indigenous tribes and their histories, are put on the defense by feeling like they are being attacked for supporting racism when they intended nothing like that at all. This has the guaranteed effect of shutting those people off to the real situation and how we can all help, and perhaps could even make them suspicious of other more impactful efforts to aide native folks.

Education and action will lead to positive change, and it's great to hear that you financially support that. But the push to change this team's name is only fomenting more ignorance.

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#41 Posted by Milkman (18870 posts) -

I see your point and I agree with it but come on, son...

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#42 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

It's hard to articulate how I feel about this without it descending into a torrent of curses and racial slurs to make a point about how really bad Redskins is as a name, but fuck it. Nobody gives a shit to begin with. Native issues never see the light of day because my people aren't even a big enough population to support a minority voice in the States. Considering genocide, regional schooling, Andrew Jackson, and more I suppose Americans think that we should just count ourselves lucky we lasted this long. So long as the Eye of Sauron is pointed at the Mexicans we'll probably scrape by for another 30 years before we're bred out of humanity entirely.

Yeah, it's that bad. But whatever. Apparently asking to face the end of your entire culture within your lifetime without the indignity of looking at shit like "The Redskins" or that stupid fucking Indian head in Cleveland is a price too steep. The name of a team or the image of a mascot is far more important than that.

/rant

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#43 Edited by TechnoSyndrome (1302 posts) -

"Traditionally, games that frequently use slurs, such as the Grand Theft Auto series, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and others receive a rating of "M" for Mature."

A+++ OP, will sign your petition just for that name drop.

Edit: The thing froze up when I tried submitting and wanted me to reenter all my info. Sorry OP. :(

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#44 Edited by Nightriff (7082 posts) -

You do realize that the name will probably be changed within a few years already because of the backlash so this isn't necessary nor will it advance the process in any way. It's just a big waste of time (even my minute).

And I personally don't care if it changes or not, sadly it will be changed to something stupid like it always is, i.e. Washington Bullets to the Wizards

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#45 Edited by Marcsman (3550 posts) -

The Native American's don't even care. Why should I?

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#46 Edited by forkboy (1563 posts) -

You do realize that the name will probably be changed within a few years already because of the backlash so this isn't necessary nor will it advance the process in any way. It's just a big waste of time (even my minute).

And I personally don't care if it changes or not, sadly it will be changed to something stupid like it always is, i.e. Washington Bullets to the Wizards

You realise if people don't pressurise the NFL, the Redskins themselves and the NFL's commercial partners there will be no backlash? Like you don't have the backlash without wasting that minute to create the backlash. That's the whole bloody point.

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#48 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3033 posts) -
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#49 Edited by MooseyMcMan (12527 posts) -

As a white guy, I am fully in support of the Red Skins maintaining the name Red Skins, so I'm just going to say that any leave.

EDIT: Also, I have to say, if you don't even have the balls to mention the name of the team in question in your petition to get them to change the name, I'm not going to sign it, even if I believe that the name should be changed, or that getting a video game rated M would have any impact at all on this (which it wouldn't, even if the petition got the game rated M).

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#50 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (6010 posts) -

Racism is racism, but I think we shoudl work towards chaning the ACTUAL teams. We then should work towards admitting our history and thoughtfully returning lands to the native people who owned them.