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ESPN Redskin Name Article

One of many experimental iterations ...

Shi no Tenshi

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I'm sure some of you have seen the following article:

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/48606/goodell-should-care-more-about-redskins

In which Graziano tells us his feelings how how people should be called, and how mean it is to refer to anybody of a Native persuasion such a diabolical thing as Redskin. He outlines his thoughts quite clearly on how wrong he thinks it is, even going so far as to call it an "epithet with a history of deployment as a tool for derision and prejudice."

However, not once does he actually state how this was ever used as an epithet, or in what context it is. I found an article showing a rather different side of the story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/02/AR2005100201139.html

Personally, I am a half-blood Lakota from the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in South Dakota. My reservation is comprised of the 4th and 11th poorest counties in the entire United States. The tribal government is rife with corruption, and living conditions are notorious for being poor. Most people born there do not leave, and many families are started while in High School, with a great many of them dropping out and failing to graduate.

There are many problems facing the Native population in this country. While my reservation may be on the lower end, it is not alone in it's plight. All these statistics are pointing out ways people could actually help their fellow man, and a destroyed minority. Instead, however, we get the tripe about how racist a football team is for using a term thought to be coined by the natives themselves.

I have grown up with racism. My family left the reservation when I was 2; I never went to a school with other Native children. Oft times, my elder sister and I, with are reddish-brown skin and black hair, stood out quite blatantly from the rest of the students. She was often called a "fat sasquatch"; I was referred to as a "prairie nigger", among other things. Not once, in my entire time of having epithets hurled upon me, was I called a redskin.

It drives me insane to see these idiotic articles where people try to make themselves feel as if they are doing something worthwhile for a minority by striking down something because of their guilt. To me, the Washington Redskins are one of the few things left in this Nation that actually respectfully brings awareness about my ethnicity. Even in the census now, the only ethnicity you can choose is Latino; it isn't politically worthwhile to acknowledge us. When it comes to striking down a rare positive though, it seems as if any depiction of the original inhabitants of this country must be removed and forgotten.

I just hope that these while guiltists are struck down instead. I am so sick of hearing about how wronged Natives are for something like having a football team named after them, with a noble looking mascot, yet all the problems that said population actually has to deal with are completely ignored. If all these guilty people want to do something for the Natives, maybe they should worry about doing something about the reservations they tried to sequester us off to in the first place.
 

HOF44

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Mike Wise the crusader strikes again. He asked Goodell about it at the Superbowl.
 

Dead Money

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Harjo is a zealot and Wise... Well there's a reason why his radio show flopped and most Redskins fans I know can't take him seriously. Wise is simply using this platform to try to distinguish himself from the 85 other idiots that can't seem to get used to the idea that newspapers are going the way of the land line telephone.

In my travels I've met other real true Native American Indians that not only don't have a problem with the name, they're fans.

Harjo and Wise are just a couple more examples of the PC police in this country that will continue to bitch and moan until they get their way and claim it in the name of all that's good and pure.

This gains traction a little more each time they push it because people are so GD afraid to offend anyone these days.


**** Mike Wise.
 

Boone

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It doesn't matter. Snyder will never cave to manufactured 'pressure' to change the name (nor should he) and no one can force him to change his position. The Redskins will always be the Redskins.
 

Dead Money

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It doesn't matter. Snyder will never cave to manufactured 'pressure' to change the name (nor should he) and no one can force him to change his position. The Redskins will always be the Redskins.
I wish that was true John, but like everything else in this country, it will come down to $ and lawyers. They will win and the team name will change eventually and Not for the right reasons.
 

Boone

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You think a court is going to rule on 'offensiveness'? There are no laws against offensiveness - beyond things like 'hate speech' which could incite violence. I don't think someone trying to force a name change through the courts would stand a chance in hell. Public pressure, if it actually existed at any substantive level might bring about a change, but legally I don't see a case of any kind. 'We don't like it' doesn't hold much water in a court of law.
 

Dead Money

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She already tried one suit and I'm sure there will be more to follow. I'm not saying its right, but just the barrage of legal action whether it be frivolous or not will eventually take its toll. Along with every legal attempt comes the publicity and the followers like Wise who latch on thinking they can attach their name to it... its a sad tale that will play out until either the NFL or the team has enough. Think more of the "Sam Bradford doesn't want to be a Redskin because the team name is offensive" types of event/accusation... Sad but inevitable.
 

Ax

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy

In the Tombstone area in the 1880s, the term "Cowboy" or "cow-boy" was used pejoratively to describe men who had been implicated in various crimes.[14] One loosely organized band was dubbed "The Cowboys," and profited from smuggling cattle, alcohol, and tobacco across the U.S./Mexico border.[15][16] The San Francisco Examiner wrote in an editorial, "Cowboys [are] the most reckless class of outlaws in that wild country...infinitely worse than the ordinary robber."[14] It became an insult in the area to call someone a "cowboy," as it suggested he was a horse thief, robber, or outlaw.
Seems a name glorifying criminality would need to go first. :)
 

tshile

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You think a court is going to rule on 'offensiveness'? There are no laws against offensiveness - beyond things like 'hate speech' which could incite violence. I don't think someone trying to force a name change through the courts would stand a chance in hell. Public pressure, if it actually existed at any substantive level might bring about a change, but legally I don't see a case of any kind. 'We don't like it' doesn't hold much water in a court of law.
The courts don't have to force a name change. They just have to invalidate the trademark. If they do so then the only thing that determines whether or not the name is changed is whether Snyder can handle not having exclusive rights over the emblem and the name.

I don't think he can handle that, but that's just my opinion.
 

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Stupid question, but on what basis would a judge invalidate the trademark?
 

Lanky Livingston

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Stupid question, but on what basis would a judge invalidate the trademark?
Stab in the dark, but I don't think you're allowed to trademark racially offensive things (for example, I don't think you could trademark 'KKK'). So if I judge determined it was, he could invalidate the trademark.
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

Yankee was used both by the Brits during the Revolution, and the South during the Civil War as an insult. When the Yankees change their name, call me.
 

tshile

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Stupid question, but on what basis would a judge invalidate the trademark?
I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know all the ins and outs of it...

But it looks like they already tried that. The US Patent office agreed and invalidated the trade mark. The Supreme Court ruled it had been too long and reinstated the trade mark.

So, basically, had they complained back in the 70's and maybe the 80's, the redskins would have lost the trademark. But waiting so long cost them the case.


http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports/Supreme-Court-Hails-the-Redskins-70188637.html

So to answer your question - being racist would be the basis.


Edit: excuse me - US District court ruled it had waited too long, and the supreme court refused to hear the case.

so, if someone took it to the supreme court and they agreed to hear it, then it could be taken away. that would depend on money and who is sitting on the supreme court whether they'd take it. i'm not sure of what weight a previous court refusing to hear a case would have though, if any.
 

Dead Money

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I hope Boone is right, I am Native Canadian and think all this racism talk is just PC bs.
Oh let me be clear... I feel the exact same way. I just see the flood of changes in our our society made by the PC police and kinda think the writing is on the wall. In the US today, if it offends one person, its somebody's job to show everybody what a travesty it is. The legal system has become like little league, everybody wins just for trying (to alienate anyone who offends.)
 

Lanky Livingston

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The more I think about it, the more I agree with Hogshaven's take. In the end, it won't matter. We'll still root for this team, we'll still be the most die-hard, knowledgeable fan base in the NFL, and we'll suddenly all have a bunch of cool throwback gear in our closets, so we'll be very stylish! LOL. In reality, if the Wizards can survive the name change from the Bulets (best team name EVER), the Redskins will be just fine. At the end of the day, if the name is offensive to even one person, shouldn't we consider changing it? 4 Reasons a Redskins Name Change Should Not Bother You:

I realize that this subject seems to be the topic that never dies, but with a break in NFL news until the combine, this subject is worth addressing given the latest event in DC yesterday:

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is holding its first symposium on the topic Thursday. A new version of an old lawsuit challenging the trademark has a court hearing in March. D.C. Mayor Vince Gray (D) recently suggested the team would have to change its name if it ever wished to resume playing games in the city.

On my commute to work today, several things came clear regarding the "Redskins" name:

It's the organization we root for and bond with, not a cartoon or mascot name: Ken and I have had the great privilege of spending a few years at Redskins Park covering the team during training camps and minicamps. We've also attended the endless community service projects that this team does for the DC area. When I see Lorenzo Alexander interacting with the DC area monthly, Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon spending time with cancer patients, London Fletcher taking kids to visit the Capitol, the Hogettes, Art Monk and Ken Harvey doing their fundraisers, does the "Redskins" logo mean anything? No. It's the many levels of the organization that make me proud. The mascot has nothing to do with that. If RGIII scored the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII wearing burgundy and gold with a "W" on his helmet instead of the Redskins cartoon, would it matter then? Of course not, we have a Super Bowl parade to get ready for.

Washington Bullets: After going through the pain of losing the Bullets name to the Wizards, I will tell anyone, a Redskins name change will hurt less. I challenge anyone to name a better mascot in any sport than the Bullets. The name was changed in 1997 due to the high violence rate in D.C. and the assassination of Abe Pollin's longtime friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It probably wouldn't have meant much to Abe at the time, but bullets are used every day by our police force and military to keep our country safe when democracy does not work. Either way, after enduring that name change, the Redskins to Warriors or something of the sort will be easy for me (see #1 above).

George Preston Marshall: The guy that gave the Redskins their nickname was the same owner who was last to integrate African Americans into his team. That's downright embarrassing and will always be a black eye on our organization. It's hard for me to defend a nickname when the original Redskins owner has a history of racism. From a NY Times 2011 article, "As his second head coach, Marshall hired William "Lone Star" Dietz, a journeyman coach at the collegiate level whose mother was most likely a Sioux. It was in "honor" of Dietz, who coached the team for just two seasons and who at Marshall's urging willingly put on war paint and Indian feathers before home games, that Marshall changed the team's name to the Redskins. " Anything that distances our franchise from the beliefs of this guy I'm OK with.

"Redskins" does offend people: Via that same NY Times article, "In 1992, the Native American writer and activist Suzan Harjo, who had moved to Washington, D.C., in the 1970s, became the lead plaintiff in a case against the Redskins organization joined by six other Native Americans, including the writer Vine Deloria Jr." A common defense we hear as Redskins fans is "But there are Native Americans that don't find the name offensive." Well, that's great, but when those Indians are nameless while famous, Native Americans claim it is racist, then that does mean something. Let's be real here. Even Merriam-Webster defines "redskins" as usually offensive: AMERICAN INDIAN. Let's put this a different way. If Washington was just awarded a NFL franchise and the team announced "Redskins" was the leading option, there would no doubt be outrage everywhere. So, because it was inherited from the past it's OK?
It did bother me to hear that the Redskins did not have anyone present at the symposium yesterday. Presence at the event at least shows one's willingness to hear their side of the story. Chris Gordon from NBC4 news called me yesterday to do an interview and get a Redskins' fans site opinion on the subject. I didn't want to speak because I don't have all the facts. It would be extremely naïve to take a stance when I have not seen first-hand who and at what level exactly Native Americans are offended. From reading the media's tweets at the Symposium yesterday, clearly there are many (and I don't just mean the gringos).

I know we want to hold onto our Redskins childhood and everything we know as normal, but the name change will eventually come even if the Redskins win the trademark case against them. Take a look around. We live in a world where people can sue each other for anything, for example, this person who sued Universal Studios $15,000 for having a haunted house too scary. Or the woman who sued a meteorologist for getting the weather forecast wrong. This is a much grander scale and a much more demeaning subject. If I was Dan Snyder, I would likely make a BCS-type announcement that the Redskins will be changing their name in a future year, for example 2015. That allows the organization and fans time to transition their name and fight song while also giving the Native Americans what they want.

After all, it's the players and organization that matter, not the mascot. The fans will never leave our team. Twenty years from now Dan Snyder would be praised for this decision and D.C. will be just as happy rooting for their team as they are now (see #1).

I think the one that hits home the hardest for me is George Preston Marshall. I mean, the guy was a real dirtbag racist! If anything, I would think of a name-change as cutting ties with that part of our history, not everything else. They can't take away the Hogs, they can't take away our 3 superbowls (but maybe they can take away Marcus Allen's run in the 4th), and they can't take away the sense of pride we feel for the team.
 

Elephant

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Not buying it Lanky... This is the Washington Redskins! The only reason it would be changed is because of a bitter Mayor who continually loses out on revenue because he cannot attract Snyder to the city and a bunch of do-gooders who think it is actually a racist slur...
 

Ax

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It would be a useless, meaningless gesture, that wouldn't do a goddamn thing to improve the lives of Indians. BTW, the term, Indian, is also offensive to some "Native Americans", or whatever name they would prefer to be called, this generation. It is typical PC bull****.

Every second of time, and every penny of cost, for this "Cry Me A Crooked River Show", should have been spent on real problems faced by Indians. Who no doubt, if they get their way with this BS, will follow it up with multimillion dollar lawsuits to ease their years of suffering.

Changing the Bullets name was a complete and utter joke. It accomplished nothing. Except putting more money in an assholes pocket.

The practice of using the "N-word", instead of just saying nigger, should show that doing so, is also a useless gesture. Who uses it more than anybody? The black community. Who somehow are allowed an exemption for it's use. I guess the only people who could say Redskin will be Indian, right?

And where does it end. I grew up when the term, Negro, was the preferred term, by the black community. Now, it's unacceptable. It's considered slang, by some. Every time some group decides it wants to be called something else, are they to be granted their wish? It's ridiculous.

I find the terms, Italian-American, Irish-American, and African American, for anybody not born and raised in Italy, Ireland, or Africa, or the child of illegal immigrants and diplomats, to be highly offensive. I bet I could find just as many people as the ones complaining about Redskins too. Gonna change that? Hell no. Not PC enough, yet. They're all American.

Native American, at that.

But, rather than dealing with real issues that matter, it's easier to fight these BS, PC, feel good, do nothing battles. It's spineless leadership. To which all peoples, are obviously, not immune.
 

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