One of the great cultural debates in sports has come to an end, because the wise Matthew McConaughey has spoken on the matter. In an interview with GQ, the Oscar winner explained why he thinks the Washington Redskins should keep the team name that has come under fire from groups who feel it is racist.
"Man, it's twofold," the True Detective star and longtime team fan said of the increasingly loud call to drop the "Redskins" name. "What interests me is how quickly it got pushed into the social consciousness. We were all fine with it since the 1930s, and all of a sudden we go, 'No, gotta change it'? It seems like when the first levee breaks, everybody gets on board."
He continued, "I know a lot of Native Americans don't have a problem with it, but they're not going to say, 'No, we really want the name.' That's not how they're going to use their pulpit. It's like my feeling about gun control: 'I get it. You have the right to have guns. But look, let's forget that right. Let's forget the pleasure you get safely on your range, because it's in the wrong hands in other places.'"
But how did a proud Texan who grew up in Dallas Cowboys country become a fan of the rival Washington team? McConaughey says that he always rooted for "the Indians" while watching Westerns, and that his favorite food was hamburgers and the team had a linebacker named Chris Hanburger. "When you're 4 years old, that's all it takes."
The team's owner, Dan Snyder, has fought to keep the team name despite heavy pressure from players, broadcasters, and the public. Snyder was recently the subject of an episode of South Park over the matter. On the other side of the debate, some important NFL figures are taking a hard stance against the use of the derogatory name. Veteran NFL quarterback and lead CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms vowed to never say the word "Redskins" during broadcasts prior to this season (though he slipped up and said the word during an early season game).
What do you think of McConaughey's remarks?
Chicago Fire's David Eigenberg gives us a tour of the set: