The Washington Redskins' name controversy could be solved instantly.
You wouldn't need Native American groups to protest or picket outside stadiums around the NFL. You wouldn't need the NFL commissioner to step in use his ultimate power to get this name change to happen.
All it would take is for African American players on the team to stand together and demand it.
Yes, it's that simple.
They can tell Washington owner Daniel Snyder that they won't play again until the name is changed.
Snyder, who can't give a good reason as to why he won't change the racist name, told the media it won't happen under his watch: "We'll never change name. NEVER - you can use caps."
We can already hear the cry babies out there, asking why the players should have to fight this battle against their boss, possibly losing money.
Many have made such sacrifices to get things changed. It normally takes brave people to speak out about the ills of society in order for things to get better.
It's shameful that players have largely remained silent through this controversy.
Actually, it's pathetic, especially since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell softened his stance, saying the league should listen to these concerns. NBC sportscaster Bob Costas took on the controversy on a national broadcast between Washington and Dallas. "It's an insult, a slur," Costas said.
Even conservative newspaper columnist Charles Krauthammer, not big on political correctness, wrote that Redskins was an offensive name and should be changed. But the lame NFL Player's Union hasn't said a word. So sad. That organization stands for nothing, never has.
Some might think it's not our fight. But it is. The Civil Rights movement wasn't just about black people, either. And don't forget that more than just black people put their necks on the line for equality for all.
We wouldn't stand for a team that was called the Alabama Sambos. Heck, the restaurant, Sambo's, was forced to change its name. Why should we accept Redskins when we know what it stands for? It's unacceptable. The name is clearly offensive, not a sense of pride for Native Americans.
It shouldn't be just journalists and reporters staging protest. Some reporters, including Sports Illustrated NFL columnist Peter King, have even refused to write or say Redskins.
The players wouldn't have to wait long to get a result. If they refused to play, Snyder would have no choice but to change the name. There's no way, they could replace the players who refused to play.The NFL couldn't have Washington forfeit games. It would cost the team and league both millions of dollars.
That's how you get change. It's always about the loot.
In 2000, NFL players played the Super Bowl in Atlanta with the confederate flag on the Georgia state flag flying in stadium. In protest, black sports writers walked out of the press box and refused to honor that flag. Players could have had that flag taken down easily. All they had to do was call a press conference the morning of the Super Bowl. The message would have been tough. Take down the flag or we're not playing. Simple.
What do you think would have happened? Let's see, would the NFL and ABC network execs have called off the game on principle, or would they have taken the flag down? My bet is that game would have gone on and the flag would have come down. Through pressure, Georgia got a new flag in 2003 without confederate flag on it.
We're not asking for players to get up on a soap box and get involved to matters that don't concern them or their business. We get it. They are players, not activists. But when you can change things in your world, the sports world in this case, you should feel compelled to do it.
Once, players were willing to stand up for things. Now, they are mostly driven by money, even if they have to ignore what's right just to get paid.
It wouldn't be the worst thing in a world to change a team name. It has happened before. Fans will get over it and cheer their team no matter what. It happened in Washington D.C. as recently as 1995. Then-owner Abe Pollin changed the Washington Bullets' name to the Wizards. Pollin had compassion and didn't want to be associated with the name anymore after so many were killed by gun violence in D.C. That's an owner who didn't worry about profits, history or stand on silly principle.
Snyder should follow suit, but it seems the only people who could persuade him to do the right thing are his own players.
They should stand up, speak out and take action.