I’m writing in response to Tuesday’s letter to the editor. TCF Bank Stadium was the only viable option for the Vikings to use while their new stadium was built. Any other location would have provided numerous challenges for the Vikings and the state of Minnesota. For the University of Minnesota to shun the Vikings and the state of Minnesota over use of an opposing teams name would be short-sighted.
Regarding the team itself, I agree the Redskins should change their name. However, it should be pointed out, not all Native Americans find the term offensive. While the connotation of words can and do change throughout history, the etymology of the term Redskin is rather benign. It is not a reference to bloody scalps as urban legend says. The term has a long history that is well-documented. This is not written in support of the name, but context does matter.
As to your comments on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling her a criminal is a serious accusation. She has never been found guilty of a crime and is continually honored for her service. Having her speak at the University is an honor. I’ve seen Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on campus, meeting with University faculty and leaders. As Klobuchar is pro-choice, her affiliation with the University may offend our pro-life students; should she be denied access to avoid offending them?
The University is a public institution that serves many people with many different backgrounds. The school is working with the National Football League and the Vikings to limit the use of the name Redskins during the actual game. Taking drastic action to make a political point would be a mistake for a public institution.