People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the Green Bay Packers Monday to change their name. The animal rights group says the name, which refers to meatpackers, promotes violence and bloodshed against animals.
PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich suggested in a letter to team president Bob Harlan that the club, which has been known as the Packers since 1919, call itself the Pickers, as in crop pickers, or the Six-Packers, in tribute to Wisconsin's brewing history.
Although Harlan says the Packers won't change their name, Out of Bounds thinks PETA is on the right track and, after reviewing team names throughout the NFL, has concluded that fully half the teams in the league should change their potentially offensive names.
Here are the teams that should take a look in the mirror and make a change, the reasons they should rename themselves and, because Out of Bounds wants to build up, not just tear down, some suggested replacement names.
Dallas Cowboys: Domination of Indians, retrograde attitudes toward women, exploitation of horses as free labor, murderous cattle industry. New-name suggestions: Dallas Love (a historically significant name in town, plus it has a nice ring), Dallas Animal Rights Activists.
Minnesota Vikings: Legacy of raping, looting, pillaging and wearing of pelts and animal horns. New-name suggestions: Minnesota Bodies (after the governor), Minnesota Dylans (after the state's best songwriter).
New Orleans Saints: Demeaning to the memory of the many saints who died for a higher purpose than to convert a 3rd-and-10. New-name suggestions: New Orleans Faithful (same idea, but not so high and mighty), New Orleans Lagniappes.
New York Giants: Glorification of the kind of "bigger is better" attitude that leads to environmental disaster and poor self-esteem for short people. New-name suggestions: New York Garment Workers, New York Simplicity.
San Francisco 49ers: Demeaning to the memory of the women who were forced into sexual slavery and the Chinese who were exploited and persecuted in Gold Rush San Francisco, as well as to the Indians and Mexicans whose land was stolen. New-name suggestions: San Francisco Gay Pride, San Francisco Campesinos.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Legacy of larceny, disrespectful language, ganglike symbols (the Jolly Roger, for example) and nonconsensual sex with cabin boys. New-name suggestions: Tampa Bay Sailors, Tampa Bay Philanthropists.
Washington Redskins: As Indian activists have long pointed out, this name is simply racist. New-name suggestions: Washington Monuments, Washington Presidents.
Buffalo Bills: See Dallas Cowboys. Also, Wild West shows used performing animals and demeaned Indians. New-name suggestions: Buffalo Bison, Buffalo Nickels.
Cleveland Browns: Racist and demeaning to people with brown skin. New-name suggestions: Cleveland Rainbows, Cleveland Rock Stars.
Kansas City Chiefs: Trivializes the position of an important person in Native American society and glorifies hierarchy. New-name suggestions: Kansas City Consensus, Kansas City Equals.
New England Patriots: The word "patriot" has an unfortunate history of being co-opted by fanatical right-wingers who wish to deny marginalized groups their rights. New-name suggestions: New England Pacifists, New England Clam Chowders.
New York Jets: Giant, noisy pollution machines. New-name suggestions: New York Bicycles, New York Solar Power.
Oakland Raiders: See Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New-name suggestions: Oakland Sharers, Oakland Free Speakers (in honor of nearby Berkeley, Calif.).
Pittsburgh Steelers: Legacy of monopolistic, anti-worker practices by the steel industry. New-name suggestions: Pittsburgh Cooperative Farmers, Pittsburgh Proletarians.
Tennessee Titans: See New York Giants. New-name suggestions: Tennessee Rhinestones, Tennessee Flattop Boxes.