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Disclaimer: For clarity purposes, I will refer to the team as the Redskins, but do not take this as me supporting the name.

As many people know, my school made the decision over the summer to forbid students from wearing Washington Redskins apparel or using the name of the team. They have made an attempt to remove the use of the team's derogatory logo and name in the school's community in order to keep a safe learning environment for all. This has become a very controversial subject in my school and will continue to be, but here is what I think.

When I first heard this, I was shocked. I was confused and questioned the school's right to do this. I thought it was a direct violation of freedom of speech and expression, but since it is a private institution, they have every right to do so. I questioned the school's decision and felt as if it could be restricting many people. Sports are a huge part of my life, and I am in complete support of many sports organizations, including the NFL, but there was more behind this story.

On Thursday afternoon, I was in the bathroom at my school and overheard a girl in my grade, who identifies as native american, talking about this subject, and I was very intrigued to see her point of view on the matter. My opinion completely shifted when I heard what she had to say.

She said she fully supports the movement. The term "Redskin" is a racial slur no matter what people try to say. People fight in an argument that is not theirs to fight. She mentioned that people feel they can argue about this topic, even though it does not directly offend them. 

Would you ever see someone wearing a shirt that says "white-skins" or "black-skins" with a picture of a white or black person? Absolutely not. And if someone did, their intentions would be questioned, and they would definitely be thought of negatively. How is this situation any different? 

Now I'm not saying we should abandon the Redskins and not support them as a team or anything, but I do believe that every time we wear their logo or say there name, it is important to remember that people like us are being directly affected by the slur. Just think, if you were in that situation, how would you feel?

This movement is much bigger than sports. The NFL and Dan Snyder will ultimately make the decision, but it should be more about being morally correct and kind than about the brand name. I know that is not how sports work, but sports are for the entertainment of the people and in no way are made to make people feel worse about themselves. Just remember that next time you argue that my school's decision 'violates your rights.'

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Published by Lia Assimakopoulos