Dear Washington NFL Team:
I'm not a football fan, but I've been talking with friends about you lately.
I'm afraid we've not been saying nice things. The trouble is the name of your team being offensive, for reasons that should be familiar to you. I respect your attachment to the name, I really do, but that doesn't make it okay. Ya gotta do something about it.
Now maybe you're thinking that you have no cause to listen to me, seeing how I'm not a football fan. But I think you do.
See, I've thought this was a problem for a long time, but I've not been excitable about it because there's only so many hours in the day, and your team doesn't come up much in my day-to-day conversation. But with the subject in the news again lately, I've made a little personal resolution to look for excuses to mention it.
You're going to a ’Niners game tonight? Who are they playing?
I guess there will be a few Chargers fans out rooting for them tonight, right? Rooting against the home team has gotta be rough, but I guess at least they aren't Washington fans, who aren't just rooting against the home team but rooting for a team whose name is kinda racist. What a bummer that must be.
See how easy that is? I bet I can find lots of opportunities to bring it up. And if I'm doing this and making the effort to tell you, I'm guessing there are a bunch of other folks quietly making a habit of it, with a few more joining in each day.
Drip, drip, drip.
I suppose you think that capitulating under this kind of pressure makes you look weak. Maybe it does, to some people. But this situation is only going to get progressively worse for you. The longer you wait, the more you're going to look bad, both to the people who don't want the change and to the people who do. You don't want to become America's Racists' Team. It's best to get ahead of it.
At this stage, the change is still mostly an opportunity. There must be a bunch of sports marketing people whose dream is to re-branding a first-tier sports franchise. Think of the free media you'd get, the merch you'd sell, and ... if you do it right ... the better brand you'd be able to design for when you get to the other side. Become the Rockets or the Tricorns or the Fierce Charismatic Megafaunas or whatever will sell the most jerseys. Go ahead and cash in on one last round of merchandise for the old team name when it becomes valuable collector's items with the change — it's dirty money, but take it, since guys like me will be too distracted to notice.
Heck, do a round of merch of wacky “rejected team names” and make some money that way. I, for one, would buy my first football jersey if it had a potato on it.