In the November issue of GQ Magazine, avid football fan Matthew McConaughey talks about his love for the Washington Redskins, a team he grew up watching despite living in Texas. Like most children, he attributed his love for the team to something simple: “4 years old, watching Westerns, I always rooted for the Indians. Second, my favorite food was hamburgers. The Redskins had a linebacker named Chris Hanburger.”
Of course because this is 2014 and because the team name is such a hot button issue, McConaughey was asked for his opinion. Cue fireworks.
What do you think about the calls for the team to change its name?
Man, it’s twofold. What interests me is how quickly it got pushed into the social consciousness. We were all fine with it since the 1930s, and all of a sudden we go, “No, gotta change it”? It seems like when the first levee breaks, everybody gets on board. I know a lot of Native Americans don’t have a problem with it, but they’re not going to say, “No, we really want the name.” That’s not how they’re going to use their pulpit. It’s like my feeling about gun control: “I get it. You have the right to have guns. But look, let’s forget that right. Let’s forget the pleasure you get safely on your range, because it’s in the wrong hands in other places.”
But as a fan, it would hurt you a little to see the logo gone?
It’s not going to hurt me. It’s just… I love the emblem. I dig it. It gives me a little fire and some oomph. But now that it’s in the court of public opinion, it’s going to change. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.
McConaughey will likely get killed for this, as his opinion is far from mainstream*. That being said, I applaud him for being honest. I applaud him for a somewhat reasonable response. I don’t agree with him, not in the least, but I respect that he called out the “suddenness” of the issue. Sadly, that is more or less a reflection of American ignorance, both past and present.
*Correction: According to this Washington Post poll, only 14% of Americans believe the Redskins should change their name.