The Washington entry to the National Football League has finally decided to replace their racist name.
This after their owner, who I am not going to provide any additional free publicity to because he does not deserve it, regardless of how small my audience is; had stated he would never change the name. But there is no such thing as never. Never has an expiration date. Never has an end date. Never has a price.
Faced with mounting pressure the owner, and the word never, and the team name have had a three-way divorce. The mounting pressure was not the political toll, the moral toll, or the social toll. No, this was purely financial.
The Washington NFL Franchise was being lambasted by its stadium entitlement partner, its minority (share-wise, not ethnic) owners, and business partners. The threat to the bottom line was real and imminent.
On one hand we can rejoice. A major injustice is being corrected. The former team name for Washington was racist. I know the discussion will now travel to other team names, but there are very few, if any, others that are out and out epitaphs.
On the other hand, we cannot be glad. We have to be saddened that some people are unwilling to see injustice. We have to be saddened about the forthcoming, and it is coming, backlash from racists who want the team name maintained. All in honour of legacy.
Slavery is a legacy. Should we keep that around as well?
One our third hand – yes three are required for this tale – we need to understand a basic tenant to life. Money is power. It is all-powerful. Disputes over money, wealth, resources, cause wars, family breakups, friends to become enemies, and spouses to become divorcées.
Money begets power. A person who earns lots of money is granted outsized respect and adulation. A person who earns significant amounts of money is viewed through rose coloured glasses. A profitable corporation is more beloved than a charitable one. An unprofitable corporation with the potential to explode into a massively profitable one is provided ridiculous stock market valuations.
Money does talk.
It talks to me. It is a constant and significant aspect of my life. I want to provide for my family, for teammates, for myself. I like nice things.
But money does not have to be the only voice we adhere to. Money cannot be pursued at all costs. Money needs to be just one component of any scorecard.
At a time like this especially. The massive Social Movement of 2020 that is spreading around the world in the midst of an unprecedented health, financial, and societal crisis like we have never seen before, or since 1918 anyway. But at a time like this, I will give money its credit. Money solved one problem.
Perhaps this save will lead to more change. Perhaps those changes will then beget new attitudes. Perhaps those attitudes will result in social change for more reasons than just financial. Change that comes because it is right.
When that happens, and I believe it will, I will return with you to have a new discussion about the right side of money. Where justice is served.