ORIGINAL: El Duderino
I will not refer to that team as anything other than "Washington". I don't care if other people don't mind their nickname. I do. I draw a lone between nicknames like "Seminoles" or "Illini" and ones like Washington in the NFL or Cleveland in MLB. The former are an attempt to honor the spirit of specific peoples from those areas, with attention paid to their particular heritage and customs. The latter are lazy and reductive, honoring no one at all, and Washington's in particular is flat out derogatory. I'm going to go with how Chris Rock put it:
"Washington Redskins, that's not nice! That's a racial slur! That's kind of like having the New York ****s, okay?"
The NCAA will allow teams to keep their mascots with no penalty if they can get the support of the tribe in question. Florida State, for example, was exempted after gaining the support of not only the Florida Seminole tribe, but also the Oklahoma Seminole tribe. North Dakota had the support of some tribes, but there were holdouts, so they were not given an exemption.
To me, this is the correct approach. Which points to exactly why Washington's nickname needs to go - which tribe are they honoring? Who can they ask for permission? Beyond the fact that the name itself is a slur, its usage is entirely reductive - it doesn't make any distinction beyond the color of the skin of an entire race. It is nothing more than a pejorative wrapped up in tradition.
As a University of Illinois graduate, I was a bit ticked on how the NCAA handled it. I could go either way, but be consistent. Illinois couldn't keep any Native American reference because the Illini tribe no longer exists, so they can't get permission. The Seminole tribes that gave permission also get some income for giving their permission. Sounds sort of like a bribe to me. I think if the NCAA is going to come down on one team, come down on all of them. Maybe we can get rid of that hothead leprechaun perpetuating stereotypes of redheads and wee folk