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JewishJournal.com

October 21, 2013

The Onion deploys Jewish slurs to skewer Redskins owner

http://www.jewishjournal.com/sports/article/the_onion_deploys_jewish_slurs_to_skewer_redskins_owner

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Anti-Defamation League joined a number of groups and politicians urging the Washington Redskins to change their team’s name, already.

Here’s another Jewish wrinkle: The Onion just posted an article that uses two anti-Jewish slurs (one twice) and two adjectival stereotypes to describe Redskins owner Dan Snyder and skewer his insistence that his team’s name is respectful of Native Americans. (There is a precedent for roping anti-Semitism into a Redskins controversy — Snyder himself claimed in 2011 that a childish caricature of him in a local paper was anti-Semitic.)

One Jewish Twittter user asked her friends to weigh in on whether the Onion crossed a line. The tweeter, Danielle, or @DCPlod, was offended at first, and then got the joke.

The ADL is not the first national Jewish group to call for a Redskins name change. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism wrote to Snyder in 2000 urging him to do so. That letter cited a 1992 resolution by the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis that condemned stereotypical team names and specifically urging the Redskins to change their name. The issue of Native American team names is not just a D.C. issue; the Wisconsin Jewish Conference, a statewide umbrella body, this month joined a coalition of groups opposing a bill that would make more difficult for public schools to change ethnically charged team names.

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