Opinion | Sports

Peter d'Errico: Video uses humor to battle racist NFL mascot

Still image from Brad Gallant's Redskinsnomore video on YouTube

Peter d'Errico praises new YouTube video that takes on the Washington NFL team's racist mascot: Brad Gallant has added a great new tool to the campaign to combat mascot racism: a 6-minute YouTube video, titled "Redskins No More." The title expands the Twitter hashtag, #redskinsnomore. The video itself expands the critique of mascot racism into a laugh-out-loud and gut-serious presentation.

We are familiar with the fact that humor helps the presentation of difficult or sensitive subjects. People often avoid paying attention to topics that make them defensive or uncomfortable, or that call into question deeply held beliefs and habits. When such topics are discussed in a way that makes people laugh, the chances for the listener to hear increase.

The rarity of combining humor and serious commentary marks Gallant's video as an important contribution to public awareness about the anti-Indian racism embedded in sports mascots, sports broadcasting, and sports reporting. Not a shrill note sounds in the entire six minutes, yet the comments and images hit hard. Though Gallant makes you laugh, he pulls no punches.

"Redskins No More" opens with the actual situation in American sports, which embed racist nicknames and mascots in everyday discourse. It quickly moves into a parody of sports commentary, in which Gallant—playing a sportscaster—recounts results of various games: "The Carolina Coons were lynched by the Mississippi Inbreds, 35-1."

YouTube: Redskinsnomore

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Peter d'Errico: #Redskinsnomore: A New YouTube Video Breaks New Ground (Indian Country Today 9/21)

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