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John Oliver Takes NFL Owners 'Absolutely Grotesque?'

John Oliver Takes NFL Owners 'Absolutely Grotesque?'

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Absolutely Grotesque  John Oliver on Watching NFL Owners

On Sunday night, John Oliver of HBO's Last Week Tonight took President Trump to task over his controversial comments calling for NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to be fired.

Oliver had only one opinion about football: It should not exist at all. He was speaking about the number of injuries sustained during games and the constant focus on crime reporting.

Defending the Washington Redskins’ Name

At first, owner Daniel Snyder resisted calls to change the team's name. But as protests over it have continued, Snyder and his organization have found themselves on the defensive like never before.

Last July, a federal judge upheld an earlier decision to cancel the Washington Redskins' trademark registration due to its disparaging remarks toward Native Americans. Oliver then looked into the team's legal appeal and questioned if Snyder had any comprehension of how offensive their name truly is.

In 1999, Snyder purchased the team and initially refused any calls to change its name. But Native American leaders and fans began pressuring him towards doing so, eventually being joined by major sponsors like FedEx who became the first company to publicly oppose its use; now Amazon, Nike and PepsiCo have also joined in calling on the team to alter its title.

On Monday, Snyder issued a letter in which he defended the honoring name's legitimacy as an honorific title. Citing several surveys that demonstrated many Native Americans did not find it offensive, Snyder asserted that it is part of their team's history - including their logo which was designed by Native American leaders.

He also highlighted the team's longstanding tradition of honoring and respecting its community through its name and history. "As a fan, I have never regretted our team's name," he wrote.

Opponents of the team's name say it is an offensive racial slur and causes stress within the community. They are particularly worried about a name which was once seen as an impediment to Washington getting a new stadium for their team.

Senators from both parties joined a letter-writing campaign on Thursday, imploring NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to force the Redskins into changing their name. Fifty Democratic senators signed on, asserting that changing the team's name is "doing what is morally right".

One of the strongest opponents to the team's name has been the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New York. They have been an instrumental force behind this anti-Redskins campaign, procuring television and radio ads that ran during the NBA Finals as well as commissioning a video with 11 members of their tribe that outlines both its history and challenges facing all Native American communities today.

Defending the Los Angeles Rams’ Name

The Los Angeles Rams are the third team in NFL history to relocate west, following Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. During their initial stint in California, the Rams won four championships and quickly established themselves as a major draw for football fans.

The Rams have won four championships and played an exciting brand of football, but not without its struggles. In 1990 they went 5-11 followed by a 3-13 season in 1991 - the year they lost Super Bowl XVIII to the Oakland Raiders; this would become known as "Stadium Capital of America" the following decade in St. Louis.

After their initial stint in Los Angeles, the Rams went on to win two more Super Bowls. During that stretch, they also captured the NFC West and finished second in total offense for the league.

However, their fan base suffered as they lacked the excitement and dominance that had defined them in years past. Now ranked 22nd in attendance by NFL standards, Rams fans tend to be less passionate than those of other teams.

Though there were likely a variety of causes, one thing was for certain: The Rams weren't playing their best football. Their offensive line had been prone to injuries, and quarterback Jared Goff had been inconsistent throughout the year.

Furthermore, the Rams' defense was inconsistent and allowed many big plays - particularly against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3.

Thankfully, the Rams had some big wins late in the season to guarantee themselves a playoff spot. After beating Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks during the postseason, they went on to win four more regular-season games and claim NFC West supremacy. Finally, they defeated San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl LV where they went on to defeat Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 - their first Super Bowl win in Los Angeles as well as second overall.

Defending the Oakland Raiders’ Name

Al Davis began building his football team in 1961 when they joined the American Football League. His handpicked players included legendary AFL figures Clem Daniels, George Blanda and Hoot Gibson. In 1967 they won the AFL championship and advanced to Super Bowl II - where Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers ultimately prevailed.

The Raiders created an image that became synonymous with tough, no-nonsense football players. Their roster featured future Hall of Famers such as Jim Otto, Gene Upshaw and Art Shell; plus formidable linebackers Ted Hendricks and Ben Davidson.

The Raiders were a revolutionary team that revolutionized how football was played. They scouted and developed players from across America, coaching them to become tough, aggressive and disciplined athletes. As an AFL model during the early 1960s, The Raiders went on to become one of pro football's most successful franchises, winning three Super Bowl championships along the way.

In the 1970s, John Madden led the Raiders to a successful foundation in Oakland under his guidance. This included an impressive 10-4 record in 1974 and two AFC championship games (losing to Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972 and Miami Dolphins in 1973).

In 1979, Tom Flores took over for Madden and the Raiders as they struggled through a 9-7 record. Unfortunately, they lost two of their last three games to fall to 9-7 status; thus necessitating them to make an unwise trade with Cincinnati for quarterback Carson Palmer.

After Davis' passing in 1981, the Raiders' fortunes took a sudden downhill turn as they faced no salary cap space and an aging roster. They wasted valuable first-round draft picks on bust players such as Carson Palmer, ultimately leading to their once-strong reputation eroding away.

The Raiders' recent surge has the NFL abuzz, and a playoff run for this year's team seems likely. At 5-4, they're in the thick of an intense AFC West race; just half a game away from first place in their conference.

Defending the San Diego Chargers’ Name

The Los Angeles Chargers are a professional American football team that competes in the Western Conference of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League. Based in Inglewood, California, they play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Chargers have been around since 1960 and originally called the "Los Angeles Rams." Later they changed it to "San Diego Chargers." Their logo features an arc-shaped lightning bolt as well as a shield-shaped logo featuring a horsehead and lightning bolt that appears on their helmets.

They have also experimented with uniform colors, such as navy blue and gold. On occasion, they even featured a jersey design that blended both styles together.

In 2007, the Chargers unveiled their first redesign since 1988, featuring a gold crest on navy blue jerseys as well as Collegiate (powder blue) interior trim and white numbering font.

In 2009, the Chargers made their first trip to New England and came out victorious. Additionally, they went on to beat the Miami Dolphins in the AFC playoffs as well.

On the final week of the regular season, they won a game against the Denver Broncos to claim victory and become AFC West champions. In the AFC Divisional playoffs, they defeated both Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The San Diego Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL and they're known for making significant moves. They've drafted some exceptional talent such as running back LaDainian Tomlinson and quarterback Philip Rivers, making them two of the league's premier rosters.

They have had plenty of success in the playoffs, yet have yet to win the Super Bowl. Their best season was 2006 when they went 14-2 and finished second in the AFC West.

The Chargers are led by quarterback Philip Rivers, who has been a star for years. With such an experienced staff behind him, Rivers should be able to make some significant plays this season.

If the Chargers continue their upward trajectory, they could be a legitimate contender in the AFC this season. They could go head-to-head with Super Bowl champions San Francisco 49ers and perhaps even upset them in the championship game - but they must be prepared for anything as these 49ers are going to be tough opponents to beat.

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