The management of this blog is taking no position on the controversy over the use of Native American references as names of sports teams. This post simply draws your attention to the recent “Style Invitational,” a regular feature in the Washington Post that sets up humorous challenges and asks readers to send in entries. Last Sunday published the results of a contest “in which we asked you to be offended by a name that most people haven’t thought to be offended by yet.” Some of the funnier entries:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Condoning piracy — the scourge of our intellectual-property rights — gives the wrong message. A good name should celebrate creativity: I suggest the Tampa Bay Digital Rights Management. (Martin Bancroft, Issaquah, Wash.)
Boston Red Sox: Yet another team name based on Native American slurs, from skin color to the misspelling of “Sioux” to the use of tribal terms like “Red Sox Nation.” Even the guys waving tickets outside Fenway Park are called “scalpers”! (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
San Antonio Spurs: Why name a team after a torture device that jams sharp metal into horses’ tender flanks? (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.) . . .Cheetos: Words that evoke cheating or dishonesty should not be used to market snack foods to impressionable children. I suggest “Rectitudos.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
DeBeers: In order to discourage alcohol abuse, the company should change its name to something inoffensive and non-alcohol-related, like “DeTeas.” (Frank Osen)
Rubbermaid: What an anachronistic remnant of a classist society; the name should be changed to Rubber Personal Assistance Facilitators. (Frank Osen)
OK, we too can play that game. How else might someone “be offended by a name that most people haven’t thought to be offended by yet”?