Insult and Brand

C. Richard King

256 pages
12 illustrations, index


March 2016


$24.95 Add to Cart

March 2019


$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2016


$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2016


$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The Washington Redskins franchise remains one of the most valuable in professional sports, in part because of its easily recognizable, popular, and profitable brand.

And yet “redskins” is a derogatory name for American Indians.

The number of grassroots campaigns to change the name has risen in recent years despite the current team owner’s assertion that the team will never do so. Franchise owners counter criticism by arguing that the team name is positive and a term of respect and honor that many American Indians embrace. The NFL, for its part, actively defends the name and supports it in court.

Prominent journalists, politicians, and former players have publicly spoken out against the use of “Redskins” as the name of the team. Sportscaster Bob Costas denounced the name as a racial slur during a halftime show in 2013. U.S. Representative Betty McCollum marched outside the stadium with other protesters––among them former Minnesota Vikings player Joey Browner––urging that the name be changed.

Redskins: Insult and Brand examines how the ongoing struggle over the team name raises important questions about how white Americans perceive American Indians, about the cultural power of consumer brands, and about continuing obstacles to inclusion and equality. C. Richard King examines the history of the team’s name, the evolution of the term “redskin,” and the various ways in which people both support and oppose its use today. King’s hard-hitting approach to the team’s logo and mascot exposes the disturbing history of a moniker’s association with the NFL—a multibillion-dollar entity that accepts public funds—as well as popular attitudes toward Native Americans today.

Author Bio

C. Richard King is a professor and chair of humanities, history, and social sciences at Columbia College Chicago. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy (Nebraska, 2001) and Native Athletes in Sport and Society: A Reader (Nebraska, 2006).




"[A] must-read book."—Chicago Tribune

"Those seeking a deeper understanding of the anti-Skins crusade will find a vibrant apostle in C. Richard King. . . . Illuminating."—Dave Shiflett, Wall Street Journal

"King shows why this controversy matters well beyond the football field."—Kirkus

"An important and must-read book for understanding the Redskins controversy."—Andrew McGregor, Sport in American History

"The absolute high-water mark study of the contours surrounding the logics of contemporary mascotting."—Jason Edward Black, American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"A vital work that will make a significant impact on our grasp of and debate over this issue."—Kevin Bruyneel, Native American and Indigenous Studies

"An insightful resource for sports fans, sociologists, and critical sport researchers."—Munira Abdulwasi, AlterNative

"This study is vital not just for academics . . . , but also for the wider public, especially fans of American Football."—Ruth Flaherty, Cultural Sociology

"King's study is powerful, well researched, compelling, and honest."—Daniel Casey, Misanthropester Blog

"This book is one that should be read by anyone who cares about the use of this name by the team, no matter on what side of the issue the reader currently sits."—Lance Smith, The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Author’s Note on Language
1. Introduction
2. Origins
3. Uses
4. Erasure
5. Sentiment
6. Black/White
7. Ownership
8. Simulation
9. Opinion
10. Change
11. Ends


Named a 2016 Favorite Book by the Progressive

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