FanDuel - WFBC

July 17, 2005

Officials Overturn Call; Redskins Trademark Might Be Sacked: The lawsuit to strip the Washington Redskins of their trademarks has been revived on appeal. "No Native person who has been called the R-word has ever said: 'Wow, they must think I'm a football player or a sport mascot or a person covered in red paint for war,'" argues plaintiff Suzan Shown Harjo. "It has always been a fighting word and has never been a compliment."

posted by rcade to football at 10:21 AM - 151 comments

This really does open it up wide, for sure. BTW, I had a conversation with Harjo about this a couple of years ago at a journalism conference, and I think she makes a pretty solid case. She's a sensible woman with a good head on her shoulders.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:20 AM on July 17

The world is unbelieveable today. Somebody has to complain about something somewhere. The Redskins emblem, the Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Chop, Florida State's chop. Even the small town I lived in in Georgia has been complaining about the high school football teams name. Blue Devils. How long have these things been going on? Can't we just live life and quit complaining about every little thing on the planet? For God's sake people, deal with it. It ain't that bad.

posted by dbt302 at 11:25 AM on July 17

Are you fucking kidding me? The Redskins just sounds like a team name to me too, but I'm not so dim I can't see where it'd be offensive to a Native American. "[D]eal with it"? Why should they have to? It's a fucking sports team name; why can't you just deal with a name change?

posted by yerfatma at 11:28 AM on July 17

If we change anything and everything that is offensive to someone, we'll be changing names every day. If you don't like Howard Stern on the radio, change the channel or turn the radio off. Same goes for television programs. Like you said, it's just a name.

posted by dbt302 at 11:48 AM on July 17

Many of us have Native American blood running through our bodies, mine coming from this great man. While the name "Redskins" has never bothered me personally (other than wanting Dallas to crush them into the ground at least twice a year, which of course has happend 6 of the last 7 years), I've never felt it was my place to tell others what they should or shouldn't feel. If even one person feels these names are offensive, then they're offensive. Is it painless for us to read rcade's link by Susan Shown Harjo and not feel a sense of empathy? If it is, I question the goodness I hope is within us all. When cultures clash, consideration should be made to walk a mile in another's moccasins (the original quote).

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:09 PM on July 17

dbt302, your reaction was a predictable knee-jerk, but then, the linked article (you did read it before jerking that knee, right?) wasn't the best explication ever about the issues involved in the Redskins name. As Harjo explained it to me, the origin of the term is not, as many think, a casually disrespectful reference to skin color, but a reference to the prior practice of the government of paying a bounty for murdered Indians. To claim the bounty, bounty hunters would have to produce -- you guessed it -- a red skin. As such, references to red skins are very much akin to any other graphic and distasteful reference to the details of a genocide. There are many articles online explaining this, but this Washington Post column does a pretty good job. I encourage you to read it, and to reconsider whether this issue -- which is, you will have to admit, no skin off yours -- really is such a "little thing".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:35 PM on July 17

I'm irish and I get offended every sat in the fall when I turn on the t.v. and see the fighting irish. This misrepresents the Irish community and I'm tired of it. I'm starting a group with the Boiler Makers and the Fighting Illini to put and end to all maskots that are not animals. (Because they don't watch sports so fuckem')

posted by seansterps at 12:48 PM on July 17

Hey while they're at it they can change the cleavlend browns to the cleavland hispanics.

posted by kingosiris at 12:52 PM on July 17

[Fighting Irish] misrepresents the Irish community and I'm tired of it. Agreed. The real Irish usually get in some good licks before losing to overwhelming numbers at the end. Let's hope Charlie can end the misrepresentation and we'll get back to looking like the ass-kickers that inspired the name. Otherwise, your analogy sorta limps; Drunken Irish would be more analagous.

posted by yerfatma at 01:44 PM on July 17

Hey while they're at it they can change the cleavlend browns to the cleavland hispanics. Assuming Paul Brown having swam the Rio Grande to bring us football and not to win a frat bet like I heard.

posted by yerfatma at 01:45 PM on July 17

It's unbelievable how arrogant and ignorant white people still are. Case in point: president bush. So when L.A. finally gets a football team, and we name them The rich white boys who can't dance, you aren't going to be offended right?

posted by Newtboy/I of newt at 02:02 PM on July 17

It's unbelievable how arrogant and ignorant white people still are. Really? Just white people? And to back it up you give us Bush? I'm guessing he represents all white people? Who's ignorant?

posted by justgary at 02:11 PM on July 17

Go Fighting Whites!

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:14 PM on July 17

For those that don't find the "Redskin" name offensive, let's add an Alabama team to the NFL and call them one of the following: "Alabama Klan" "Birmingham Bigots" "Montgomery Rednecks" "Mobile Honkies" Everyone is okay with that?

posted by grum@work at 02:29 PM on July 17

So what about all the sports team that named themselves in honor of indians, such as the Illini (University of Illinois)? Do you rename ALL sports teams, High School, College and Pro? or just the ones with offencive names?

posted by kingshunter at 02:51 PM on July 17

This isn't about making the Redskins change their name -- they can lose this suit and continue to keep the mascot. It's about refusing to use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide legal sanction to a name that's racially offensive. Personally, I think the law that allows the USPTO to reject trademarks on the basis of prejudice is a good one. So it's hard to come up with any reason that the Redskins should be allowed to use a government-granted monopoly to derive commercial benefit from a racial term. There are no live trademarks for variations on the term "nigger." In 2001, the USPTO rejected an application for Nigga Clothing from a businessman, presumably on racial grounds. Why should an NFL team be allowed a Redskins mark when other racially connoted marks are not?

posted by rcade at 02:56 PM on July 17

This discussion is nausea inducing. To lump changing the Redskins nickname in as just another move made by the "PC police" is so sad. Forget for a second that Redskin is a genocidal term out of the ugliest, unforgivable chapter in our nation's history. To name a sports team after the color of skin (or, perhaps worse, to have your race depicted in a truly racist or cartoonish manner like Chief Wahoo) is wrong. There's no debate. It's despicable. Having a Bible Belt debate about "Blue Devils" is incomparable to a debate about naming sports teams after races or colors of people. Shame on any such team's fan who, after hearing legitimate objections voiced by the people who are marginalized, can continue to root for that team in good conscience--much less spit on the objectors, as evidently happened routinely outside of RFK. Schools like St. John's, Miami, and Marquette are to be commended for making a change; they are institutes of higher learning, after all. (The exception: Florida State and the Seminoles seem to have some deal worked out which seemingly keeps the tribe happy and proud...it's nice that FSU bothered to check with them, if the school did.) Even a name like "Blackhawks" purports to pay tribute; "Braves" and "Warriors" CAN be used generically enough to honor, I suppose; but a nickname based in murder and massacre? Sickening. P.S. Based on the charged debate surrounding the future of the Illni nickname, as well as the retirement of Chief Illiniwek (whose halftime war dance purported to "honor" the tribe), I'd say the assumption that "Illini" is a term of honor is not universally shared.

posted by Brett at 03:06 PM on July 17

It's unbelievable how arrogant and ignorant white people still are. Yup. You're right. All white people. Too bad we own everything.

posted by smithnyiu at 03:19 PM on July 17

So what about all the sports team that named themselves in honor of indians, such as the Illini (University of Illinois)? Do you rename ALL sports teams, High School, College and Pro? or just the ones with offencive names? Well, clearly there's a spectrum, kingshunter, ranging from "the Washington team" to teams whose white owners, managers, athletes and fans earnestly and sincerely believe(d) that they are honoring Native Americans by naming their team with a tribal name or some other name associated with Native Americans. However, one thing that Ms. Harjo pointed out to me in our talk was that naming teams after any kind of human category is likely to be problematic, sooner or later. She gave the humorous example of a school whose male athletes wanted to call their sports teams the White Knights. One of the school's female athletes said, "What are we supposed to be -- the Damsels in Distress?" Beyond that, seansterps has a point about the Fighting Irish -- another ethnic stereotype that a lot of Irish and Irish-Americans are probably pretty tired of, and then there's that cartoonesque leprechaun that stands in for the Celtics. That's not what I'd call a respectful portrayal, either. And it doesn't have to be a matter of anti-Irish bigotry -- it's in the nature of mascots to trivialize, cartoonize, oversimplify and make silly. And that, really, is IMO a very good reason why we're better off without human mascots for teams at all levels. p.s. Samsonov14, I'm a major Fighting Whities fan ;-)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:16 PM on July 17

Well if you use the prevailing arguement. Your getting rid of the Vikings, Buckingneers, The Pirates, The Giants, Yankees and any other name that may have caused death and destruction. I have no problem with changing offensive names. Lets just not get carry away. Our country had two very dark parts in our history; slavery and how the native peoples we treated. The fact is we cant change it. We can learn from it and go forward. At some point we have to quite living in the past and move ahead. Learn from the past dwell on the same mistake. Any names that are offensive to a group should be done away with. And then move along.

posted by daddisamm at 04:23 PM on July 17

How about we just get rid of sports in general? That way we can get back to the basics in life like killing one another.

posted by volfire at 05:06 PM on July 17

daddisamm, that's an odd list of examples in your first sentence since other than Vikings none of them refer to specific ethnic or racial group and somehow I doubt any Scandanavians will be offended by that one.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:17 PM on July 17

daddisamm, the Giants? "Height challenged" people light your torches...

posted by smithnyiu at 05:30 PM on July 17

I belive it's "vertically challenged".

posted by volfire at 05:35 PM on July 17

I think everyone will agree that something that suggests that the systematic slaughter of a group of people was somehow heroic or praiseworthy is, at the very least, steeped in ignorance. Since it is hard to take a step back on this issue for many people, it might be easier to create a theoretical example in another country. Let us consider the Armenian genocide in Turkey at the start of the 20th century. If there was a football team in Istanbul with a name like the Istanbul Skinned Armenians, I think we would be able to agree that that was not only offensive, but likely to open up old wounds. With no intention of Godwinizing this thread, we would likely agree that the Dusseldorf Skinned Jews would also be an offensive name, but also one that could cause Jews to maybe feel not so welcome in Dusseldorf. Since the Redskin name implies "skinned Native American" (and not just "person with red skin"), it isn't so much an issue of being merely offensive so much as it is an issue of saying "you, Native Americans, are considered less than human here." Yeah, maybe that wasn't the intention, but that is the end result. This is why it is different from, say, the Fighting Irish - named so because at one point they were, you know, Irish who were going to fight to win. It is also different from the Seminoles or Illini - which, while some may take offense, don't carry the stain of genocide with them. Anyhow, that is my take on this.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:37 PM on July 17

I think everyone will agree that something that suggests that the systematic slaughter of a group of people was somehow heroic or praiseworthy is, at the very least, steeped in ignorance. Actually, there seem to be a few apologists in this thread who are all in favor. But I take your point.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:40 PM on July 17

I'd like to see 'em change their name to the Lobbyists, myself.

posted by alumshubby at 08:42 PM on July 17

Other names we may want to deep six- Jayhawks-Originally a derogatory term referring to a group of violent, rogue types who killed and robbed pro-slavery settlers in early Kansas. http://www.kuhistory.com/proto/story.asp?id=132 (this page puts a lot more positive spin on it than most printed sources I've read. But it is a university source, so I wouldn't expect more. Yankee-originally a derogatory term for Dutch settlers in New York. The British used it as a derogatory term for all Americans. Spartans-not derogatory, but a reference to the city-state of fanatical warriors of ancient Greece (unrelated comment-one is amazed that no college kept Athenians as their mascot, considering that city's contribution to culture in general. Or how about Macedonians-good warriors, and Aristotle for the academic prowess). I don't quite know where I fall on this argument. Yeah, it is a pretty mean name, but don't the Native Americans have something better to do than complain about this? This seems to me to be like complaining about a cut on your head when your guts are hanging out from a stomach wound, but I could be wrong.

posted by Bonkers at 09:12 PM on July 17

Maybe they should be called the Washington Honkeys? That wouldn't offend anyone, would it?

posted by DorkyDad at 09:33 PM on July 17

Does anyone have well-documented links on this particular meaning of redskin? I'm currently taking a class in IP law, including trademark, so I just read Harjo v. Pro Football (an earlier ruling in the case), and it makes no mention of redskin as a term related to massacres, so that particular aspect of the argument (as far as I can tell) is not part of the legal record. Furthermore, Harjo's own linguistics expert says there is no evidence to support this particular meaning of the word. So I'm curious where the historical record of this is. It would certainly bolster the argument (to me) but it doesn't seem to be actually grounded in truth, at least not enough that Harjo or her expert felt comfortable introducing it to the court record. As an aside, the use of 'redskin' to mean anything other than the NFL team is clearly dying- 'redskins' returns 2.4M results on google, while 'redskins -NFL -washington -football' returns only 170K, and at a glance, many of those are football-related but don't use the explicit terms I ignored. (You can get similar numbers for the singular redskin.)

posted by tieguy at 09:43 PM on July 17

One of the last times this came up here, I found a racist incident in which a kid was derided as a "redskin." Another thing I found reminded me that even the seemingly innocuous Native American mascots can cause harm because of where cheerleaders and fans take the metaphor:

... a man I know took his son to a high school football game. His son was only five the team was called the Indians. The opposing team took a life size doll and dressed it up like an Indian. They put a noose around this doll's neck they hung it from tree and began screaming and chanting kill the Indians, anhilate the Indians, scalp the Indians, Kill all the Indians, this boy, who was native american began to cry looking up at his father he said daddy they are going to kill us. Daddy we are going to die, daddy we need to get out of here. Some people say that they honor Native American's by naming sporting teams after them. How is this an honor? And if you treat every race equally in this state then what other race would this State Board of Education choose to honor in such away?

posted by rcade at 10:25 PM on July 17

For those that don't find the "Redskin" name offensive, let's add an Alabama team to the NFL and call them one of the following: "Alabama Klan" "Birmingham Bigots" "Montgomery Rednecks" "Mobile Honkies" Everyone is okay with that? I'm with ya grum, and I know what you're getting at, but I think you're a little misguided with your example. There are many people who wouldn't have a problem with your examples, because you're dealing with a state that has a lot of generalizations thrown at it. A lot of people would look at your examples and say "well, it's true". Believe me, I know. The only people you would offend with those examples are people from alabama, and I'm pretty sure the members in this thread defending 'redskins' are not from alabama. Use something that would offend the fans of D.C. and you might have something. Maybe they should be called the Washington Honkeys? That wouldn't offend anyone, would it? I wish we would stop using arguments of this kind. They don't work. I'm white, and washington honkeys doesn't offend me, nor would the washington crackers. In fact, I doubt anything would offend me. But that has little to do with the question at hand, nor does it prove anything.

posted by justgary at 10:27 PM on July 17

Why don't we go ahead and ban Peter Pan as well? Disney made a song about the "RED MAN" should that just be deleted from the movie because there's a bunch of people who, if they can't open a friggin casino, need to whine about something? This should have been buried years ago when the case was decided in the first place. Maybe I'm just another white idiot, but, arguements of this type are tiring. If we're going to make this such a "bad word" then the use of the word "nigger" coming out of anyone's mouth (no matter their race)should be censored from TV, radio, or any other mass media.

posted by djdannyil at 10:47 PM on July 17

daddisamm, that's an odd list of examples in your first sentence since other than Vikings none of them refer to specific ethnic or racial group and somehow I doubt any Scandanavians will be offended by that one. posted by billsaysthis at 5:17 PM CST on July 17 Yes Billy, it is an odd list-I made this list of names that stuck with the theme where people could be treated poorly and murdered. The vikings were some really rough guys-they raped,pillidged and plundered where ever they went. The Giants-in the bible giants were depecited as really mean warriors. The Giant in "Jack and the Bean stalk" Actually ate people.. My examples were kind of a parity. This is clearly a problem. However its one that needs to dealt with sensitivity and common sence. Change the teamnames and mend the fences. Lets put the past behind us and move forward. There are a lot of other problems in our world to deal with..

posted by daddisamm at 10:57 PM on July 17

Funny you should mention Disney, brand new user who thinks Native Americans all crave their own casinos. The company won't rerelease Song of the South in the U.S. because of the racial portrayals in the film.

posted by rcade at 11:28 PM on July 17

then the use of the word "nigger" coming out of anyone's mouth (no matter their race)should be censored from TV, radio, or any other mass media. Actually, the word gets censored A LOT in TV, radio and other media. You'll hear bleep or silent spots during many songs that use the word (depending on who owns the radio station). The word is only used on TV when there is a discussion about racism (except on shows after 10:00pm or outside of basic cable). And newspapers and big-name websites (news companies) will substitute the phrase "n-word" instead of nigger when they print transcripts that use it. The fear of having the FCC come jumping down your throat is what stops most media from using the word. However, that doesn't stop the word from being used in any artistic endeavour for private (not public) consumption. CDs, movies, books or video games that want to use that word (or any offensive material) should (and usually can) be allowed to do so.

posted by grum@work at 11:42 PM on July 17

Way too much whineing going on in this world today about any little thing that someone doesnt like! Its always someone elses "fault" or "its not fair" or something. There's a ton of crap that bothers me and everyone else in this world but what a waste of time it would be to cry about all of it, please. I'm sure we would all benefit if the time and energy wasted on what the over whelming majority of people would consider "petty" and spend it with your family, mostly being there for your children while there growing up,which is when they need you the most and so you can guide them and instill in them what they need to learn to become productive citizen instead of a destructive one chances are we will all benefit from that much more.

posted by triipn at 11:53 PM on July 17

you guys drive me crazy, no team should ever have to change there name. this world had become way too PC, and anybody that has a problem with offensive names need to just stay the hell away from the team, how about that...its not that tough of a concept, its sports, not an attempt to make certain races look bad. its just that 20 years ago nobody thought they could just sue anybody for what other people decide (name a team, whatever the fuck they want) to do. Also if you look back at the indians they named their team in honor of a native american player. Every time i hear someone in cleveland bitching i just laugh and tell them that, and they pretty much get left speechless cause the same people that are bitching about about these teams names, don't know anything about sports. these people have no place to bitch, just leave the sports community alone

posted by gregy606 at 02:27 AM on July 18

Its always someone elses "fault" or "its not fair" or something. Just to be clear: you're saying Native Americans brought a massacre upon themselves? By dressing too sexy, perhaps? anybody that has a problem with offensive names need to just stay the hell away from the team, how about that Yes, because sports are never about inclusion. The whole point of sport is to watch grown men earn millions of dollars, not to honor athletic achievement. The company won't rerelease Song of the South in the U.S. because of the racial portrayals in the film. Having downloaded the film a few years back for my mother's birthday (we had fond memories of going to see it when I was almost too young to have memories), I can safely say it shouldn't be released due to the complete and utter crapiness of every non-animated second. And this thread is giving me The Mopes.

posted by yerfatma at 06:14 AM on July 18

its just that 20 years ago nobody thought they could just sue anybody for what other people decide (name a team, whatever the fuck they want) to do. And it's just that 50 years ago nobody thought they could get in trouble for stringing up a black guy for looking at a white woman. And it's just that 30 years ago nobody thought they could just sue a guy for slapping a woman's ass in the office place. It's called, becoming a more civilized nation.

posted by grum@work at 07:39 AM on July 18

OK, this discussion continues to get creepier, but I think the important distinction between, say, "Giants" and "Redskins" is that, to most eyes, "Giants" is not tied to one ethnicity while "Redskins" is. And that a Giants mascot certainly doesn't roam the crowd clubbing fans of the other team, or do anything much but stand around, while Indian mascots beat war drums, ride around on horses, do war dances, and who could possibly forget, tomahawk chop. Gregy606, if the Indians were named in "honor" of anyone, why do they use a racist, cartoonish logo of Chief Wahoo on their caps? That's one odd "honor." At least the Chief got the 1950s crook out of his nose that made for an even worse caricature. "Just a team name." I wonder if you would feel the same if your lineage was almost completely wiped out. Thank goodness we can just trace all the complaints to our litigious, whiny society. I love that any semblance of sensitivity today is automatically demonized as "PC" by the cavemen of our country. Doing the right thing may be nice, but isn't it more important to honor the "PC-phobia" of the most ignorant in our society? I know this is an argument that's hard to win, so I'll inject a moment of levity re: Lady Knights. My wife went to Pius HS in Milwaukee, where the boys' teams were the Popes. The girls weren't Nuns, or any sort of logical extension (whatever those logical extensions are)...they were just the Lady Popes.

posted by Brett at 08:03 AM on July 18

...It's called, becoming a more civilized nation. Perfectly said, Grum. Now can you add "The End" so we can all move on? Geez.

posted by smithnyiu at 08:05 AM on July 18

its just that 20 years ago nobody thought they could just sue anybody for what other people decide (name a team, whatever the fuck they want) to do. Another one who didn't bother to read the linked article. Hey, people who want to have a bird about this lawsuit, why don't you take your own advice and stop whining unless and until you've taken the two minutes to read the article and understand the basis for the suit? You're all making a lot of ignorant and hysterical accusations about this suit (casinos? Peter Pan? WTF?) when it's quite clear you don't know the first thing about it. Clean the spinach off your teeth, please; then, if you still want to, rejoin the conversation.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:09 AM on July 18

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me...............

posted by volfire at 08:27 AM on July 18

Someone who's either a hypocrite or doesn't comprehend irony wrote: "this world had become way too PC, and anybody that has a problem with offensive names need to just stay the hell away from the team, how about that...its not that tough of a concept, its sports, not an attempt to make certain races look bad. ... these people have no place to bitch, just leave the sports community alone." It seems it's okay to be insensitive to natives, but it's more insensitive to offend the sensibility of Joe Six-Pack sports fanboy. Listen, here's the rub, smart-guy: if it's "just" a sports name, and in your mind isn't a big deal, then why are you so upset that someone wants to change the name? I mean, if it's just a name, and it's just a sports team, why is your skin so thin that you have to bitch? "It's not that tough of a concept," it's just a word, "it's sports." Surely tough guys with thick skin are bigger than all this, right? Maybe it's 100% true that some rumpswab with a ten-or-twenty year history as a sports fans trumps what any insensitive native thinks, but if it is true, then why is it necessary for the same rumpswab to get so Politically Correct about protecting the sanctity of their so-called "sports community"?

posted by the red terror at 08:42 AM on July 18

Just to lighten things up a bit; When are we going to go after the potato farmers?

posted by directpressure at 08:50 AM on July 18

"understand that even though it is just a name, imagain the money cost it will take to change the name... It is not something that can just be erased and re-wrote... Stop being a spoided bitch and move on..." Just as laughable and ignorant. Yes, it is just a name. Which means that it is something that can EASILY be changed. Street names are changed, town names are changed, you marry a woman, more-often-than-not she changes her name. Hell, governments change, and even some nations change their names. It's just a sports team. It's just a name. I can "imagine the money cost it will take to change the name," and that cost is peanuts. Sad to think there are sports fans in here, as I say, with affiliations that last all of a short generation, and they believe their outrage is deeper and their history more precious than a race that has had to live with this for many generations. Pot. Meet. Spoided. Kettle.

posted by the red terror at 08:52 AM on July 18

stagecrewgod: You are a fucken dumbass... Dumbass he may be, but he probably knows how to spell "fucking". Oh, and... Dont take down my post again... First Admedment right.... Another one who didn't read the document. Go read the Constitution, or at least the first amendment, and get a clue about what rights it does and doesn't guarantee you. Then go read the SpoFi TOS and posting guide. A little learning goes a long way in not looking like a fucking dumbass.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:01 AM on July 18

I posted the above last night... I guess the webmaster doesnt like realism... Dont take down my post again... First Admedment right.... Looks like you have a lot of things to learn stagecrewdog, first and least important for you, in this case, is learning how to spell.

posted by smithnyiu at 09:04 AM on July 18

ILLEGAL MEXICANS Only criminals will have Mexicans. I'm just saying.

posted by yerfatma at 09:07 AM on July 18

Where can I get me some of that free speech? We are paying $220/month for the old and new SportsFilter servers. I love the idea that names in sports are supposed to be sacred and unchangeable. I'll ponder that next week when I'm at The Ballpark in, er, Ameriquest Field. Chief Wahoo is deeply offensive. I wish the Indians, a franchise I like, would jettison that ugly racist caricature.

posted by rcade at 09:19 AM on July 18

I dunno if that's the way to deal with him. The site's gotten big enough it's going to attract people with . . . different opinions. Just giving him the Heisman-- I can understand it and maybe it's the only thing to be done, but I think his particular thoughts should be left for all to see. Sunlight is a wonderful disinfectant.

posted by yerfatma at 09:25 AM on July 18

but I think his particular thoughts should be left for all to see. Sunlight is a wonderful disinfectant I disagree for selfish reasons. I like coming here for the intelligent input from informed people, talking about sports. I just think there is a fine line between uncensored opinions and the inmates running the asylum. A lot of people won't come back if every other post was like stagecrewshitforbrains. My 2 cents.

posted by smithnyiu at 09:56 AM on July 18

I know this started out as a trade mark discussion, etc. and went sour...but I noticed this: Also if you look back at the indians they named their team in honor of a native american player. Every time i hear someone in cleveland bitching i just laugh and tell them that, and they pretty much get left speechless Not everyone thinks it is/was an honor and I'm not sure Louis Sockalexis would think so either.

posted by chris2sy at 10:11 AM on July 18

who gives a rats ass!! isn't being allowed to own and operate casinos and make hundreds of millions of tax=free dollars payback enough??? Jessus! Who freaking cares? No one except pathetic money hungry PCliberal lawyers, even examine the names of sports teams. We just root for or against teams. Why is it that someone with nothing else better to do, has to dredge up something as tiring as this? Most of these teams were named eons ago, when the whites controlled everything( I think when you own stuff, you get that right), and most people alive today do not know or CARE why or how a sports tean got it's name. Not at least, until these PC idiots pointed it out, just to get themselves in the news and noticed.

posted by bluekarma at 10:47 AM on July 18

Dont take down my post again... First Admedment right.... it's not a public-owned forum dude. You get to make the rules when it is operated with private money. learn something about free speech and private ownership. We are guest here.

posted by bluekarma at 10:50 AM on July 18

Most of these teams were named eons ago Slavery, racial discrimination, and bigotry were also from "eons ago". It doesn't mean it should stick around because it has a history. when the whites controlled everything( I think when you own stuff, you get that right) I'm a little scared that you think being in power gives someone the "right" to do whatever they want, regardless of how it affects others. and most people alive today do not know or CARE why or how a sports tean got it's name. Not at least, until these PC idiots pointed it out, just to get themselves in the news and noticed. So it's okay to do "bad" things as long as the populace is ignorant? And if someone points out why it is "bad", they are doing it only because they want publicity? That's just spiffy!

posted by grum@work at 11:25 AM on July 18

who gives a rats ass!! You're hearing from people who do. What are you, some kind of censorship nazi who wants to tell them to shut up? Most of these teams were named eons ago, when the whites controlled everything( I think when you own stuff, you get that right), Especially when you stole it from somebody else, right? I find it interesting -- well, no, I find it pathetic -- that "eons" of history (about one hundred years of it, or less -- we live in deflationary times, and the eon is shrinking) are used in support of parading and making money off a racist stereotype (you didn't read the article either, did you, bluekarma? trademark law, get it?), but an even more venerable we-was-here-first argument apparently isn't valid when it's used by Indians.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:26 AM on July 18

I posted the above last night... I guess the webmaster doesnt like realism... Dont take down my post again... First Admedment right.... For some reason, this response ALWAYS makes me laugh. I get this mental image of someone ranting at the keyboard about how they weren't allowed to spew their bile on a private chatboard, but probably supports the restriction of rights for people who aren't like him.

posted by grum@work at 11:28 AM on July 18

One thing I've learned running sites like this -- if some people get the idea that a garden isn't being tended, they are much more likely to act like a weed. The redesign will put deleted comments in their own section so you can see what the admins are doing. But they won't be kept in the threads, because any idiot can take over a discussion by posting something so inflammatory or offensive that other people are compelled to rebut it.

posted by rcade at 11:44 AM on July 18

This is of course a moot point, as no team has ever changed their nickname. I mean, that's never happened before, has it? Look, it's a friggin' nickname. (Who thought up the idea that every team has to have a nickname anyway? I've noticed that there are some MLS teams that don't (including the one in DC, incidentally), and they seem to have not crumbled into dust.) The world is a vastly different place than it was when "Redskins" seemed like a natural name for a sports organization. Now, not only are more people paying attention than when they started calling the team the Redskins, but the world (meaning: the fans of the team) seem to think less and less of the name every year. If you wanna stay in the past, good on you, have fun. For the rest of us, the Earth continues to revolve, and the people on it continue to evolve, for better or worse. I think mostly better. Call them the Washington PACkers.

posted by chicobangs at 11:56 AM on July 18

Give me a break. The person who commended St. John's for changing their team names just shows ignorance. The St. John's teams were called the Red Men not in any reference to Indians but for the simple fact that their uniforms were ALL RED. The PC Police often get very upset for no reason at all. Are we to force the Boston Red Sox to change their name because some people do not like to wear red sox. Why not outlaw the word television because there are some blind people who may be offended because they can not see.

posted by healey6 at 12:01 PM on July 18

Are we to force the Boston Red Sox to change their name because some people do not like to wear red sox. And yet another one who didn't bother to read the article! Quick quiz, healey6: just what exactly are these "PC Police" you're whining about trying to "force" the Washington team to do? What is the nature of the suit?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:16 PM on July 18

Why not outlaw the word television because there are some blind people who may be offended because they can not see. No, it would be offensive if it was called "Not-For-Stupid-Blind-People-Vision." Which, thankfully, GE passed over to choose "television instead".

posted by grum@work at 12:18 PM on July 18

For fuck's sake, how many first time "contributors" have decided this is the thread worthy of their debut, yet haven't even bothered to click on the links? Puts a whole new spin on being a member.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:23 PM on July 18

Why keep history at all? Change the name and let the Native American disappear for good. How's that for a heritage?

posted by volfire at 12:25 PM on July 18

Suggest new name: Washington Peanuts

posted by graymatters at 12:41 PM on July 18

Maybe they should be called the Washington Honkeys? That wouldn't offend anyone, would it? Considering a large majority of the city of DC is made up of black people, I would venture to guess it would offend a large majority of Washington, DC. Many level-headed, good-hearted people above made all my arguments for me, but I especially want to thank whomever it was who pointed out the irony of the people shouting loudest about this saying that people shouldn't get worked up. If it is just a name, then it doesn't matter if it is changed. Unclench and look in the mirror.

posted by scully at 12:44 PM on July 18

Suggest new name: Washington Peanuts I have no idea why, but that made me laugh out loud. I have this mental image of Mr. Peanut with a football helmet instead of a top-hat. He's still carrying the cane, however.

posted by grum@work at 12:56 PM on July 18

We should do away with names totally. I think that the Gov. agrees. We will all just be a number now, as will our teams. But let me guess, someone will STILL object to being numbered. Oh, sorry thats been done before too. MY BAD.

posted by volfire at 01:10 PM on July 18

grum -- is he still rocking the monocle?

posted by holden at 01:21 PM on July 18

Time to RECAP the issue as this has gotten way out of hand, as usual. so as I understand it, the case is this: Licensed and Trademarked sports team nicknames(Redskins) are scrutiny from Native American groups for violating the 1946 federal law that prohibits the government from registering a trademark that disparages any race, religion or group. The legal question is whether or not the nicknames 'disparage' another group, in this case Native Americans. Now, the Trademark trial cited with Harjo and cancelled the Trademarks. However, the federal court took the 'lache' route and stated that the group waited too long to file a case against the Redskins (created in 1967) and therefore ruled in favor of the defendant. The Appeals court has just sent it back to the lower court for review as one of the named plaintiffs was only 1 years old when the Trademark 'Redskins' was formed. So here we are. Some feel this is another frivolous lawsuit causing millions of dollars and wasting hours of time with no real purpose fulfilled. Others think Harjo & Co. have a case and the Trademarks are in violation of the 1946 federal law. Now, I have yet to read where the NA groups are lobbying, or bringing lawsuits, against those professional teams with NA themed nicknames to change their team name. They have taken the smart approach and gone after the Trademark violation, because if they win then the Pro teams will have no other choice but to change their nickname and Trademark it so they don't lose further revenue from merchandise sales.

posted by artvandalay at 01:22 PM on July 18

Unclench and look in the mirror brilliant, terrapin! that's basically the conclusion I came to myself after defending the use of Redskin.

posted by garfield at 01:38 PM on July 18

I thank the cool headed people that come here with a sense of decency for not making this thread a complete waste of time. While I get the impression that some people won't ever be seeing the light of day, the current of support for the ideas behind the case are encouraging.

posted by gspm at 01:43 PM on July 18

And NA stands for just what exactly?

posted by volfire at 01:46 PM on July 18

Like Tieguy said above, I can't find anything to support the etymology of "redskin" (bottom of that linked page) that equates it with scalps and bounties...merely the somewhat less offensive (if it can be called that) skin tone meaning. I suppose much like some people used to say (or still do say) bullshit like "darkie" when refering to a black person. While it is fucked up to have a team named "Redskins" I don't think we should get carried away with the use of unsupported etymology for the word that is now put forth...unless someone can provide a good source for its etymology. I'm not saying that its not offensive, just that they might have stretched the etymology part so its origin/meaning would suit their purposes. Like I've said previously, I'm not crazy about many of these mascots, but let's not make shit up or use unsupported facts.

posted by chris2sy at 01:47 PM on July 18

I don't get the ire of the people who recommend keeping the name? It's a deprecated racist term, and as such probably should be removed. It's offensive, but because it's so pervasive, and Native Americans are so ignorable, I guess it's OK right? I'll avoid saying niggers, and recommend other team names, the Atlanta Slaves with a black-faced sambo as their mascot? The San Diego Wetbacks, with a Taco John-ish mascot? Unlike the Indians, Seminoles, Redskins has NO concomitant value. It's a VERY VERY racist term, but since you've heard it so much, you've inured yourself to it. People think it's OK to say it. In the end though, what does it matter? I'm Indian and grew up on an indian reservation in northern Montana, I'm fully aware that the white people have won. The BIA is a complete disaster, and most indian tribes (who aren't based in a populous area) still are living in poverty. The life expectancy for people living on the reservation is 48 for men, and 52 for women. Indians have the lowest life expectancy of any people in the Northern hemisphere. Walk around Pine Ridge reservation, or maybe my reservation Fort Belknap. So go ahead, tell yourself, it's OK to use the word redskin. Maybe you'll believe it.

posted by patrickje at 01:52 PM on July 18

And you can't have Mr. Peanut without his monocle: Image hosted by Photobucket.com Although I don't see a cane in that pic.

posted by chris2sy at 01:52 PM on July 18

for volfire; NA = Native American ... did I commit some sort of thread 'faux pas'? or are you just playing dumb?

posted by artvandalay at 01:57 PM on July 18

artvandalay: Now, I have yet to read where the NA groups are lobbying, or bringing lawsuits, against those professional teams with NA themed nicknames to change their team name. They have taken the smart approach and gone after the Trademark violation, because if they win then the Pro teams will have no other choice but to change their nickname and Trademark it so they don't lose further revenue from merchandise sales. Congrats and welcome to SpoFi -- you win the Good Newbie Reading Comprehension award!!! The lawsuit is, as you point out, strategic. People who've been thinking about this issue for a long time, like Harjo, realize full well that there are many pieces to the puzzle, and that in the United States, there is no law that would allow the banning of hateful racist imagery across the board. But as my old man would say, if you're gonna piss on someone's head, don't expect them to pretend it's raining. They'll do what they can about it, whether that's educating people and raising awareness, or -- as in this case -- bringing a lawsuit that at least would take some of the profit out of it. The reason why so many white people Just Don't Get It is because in the culture of the USA, there is no parallel set of slurs that can be used on white people. There is no equivalent of "nigger" or "spic" or "Injun Joe", terms that were used to mock and disparage and that were used with impunity, because their targets were outnumbered and outgunned and had no means of shutting their tormenters up. Seems to me the people who've been the targets of those terms have spent long enough grinning and bearing it, and no one's got the right to tell them to shut up about it now.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:16 PM on July 18

The reason why so many white people Just Don't Get It is because in the culture of the USA, there is no parallel set of slurs that can be used on white people. Whitey Redneck Cracker All allowed by the Trademark Office. No more Cracker Jacks, no more Cracker Jacks, no more Cracker Jacks.

posted by graymatters at 02:51 PM on July 18

Speaking of name changes: Question: What did Native Americans call the continent before before Europeans arrived? Answer: 'Ours'.

posted by owlhouse at 03:00 PM on July 18

What we don't seem to get is the plain and simple fact, that this country was founded by a deverse culture in itself. We all are for the most part, decendants of imagrants. What we have made into this country, incorporating all of our ethnic backgrounds, is what this country is about. We bastardize ourselves by playing these bullshit name game, an the who dunnit first crap. We as a nation are Americans, with our own traditions and customs. If one cannot accept that fact I should think you would be in search of a place that would make you happy.

posted by volfire at 03:09 PM on July 18

The reason why so many white people Just Don't Get It is because in the culture of the USA, there is no parallel set of slurs that can be used on white people. Tell that to The Man

posted by smithnyiu at 03:11 PM on July 18

graymmaters you conveniently left out part of LBB's statement: "...terms that were used to mock and disparage and that were used with impunity, because their targets were outnumbered and outgunned and had no means of shutting their tormenters up." Do you believe that in the deep south of the Jim Crow era that an epithet like "whitey" would more likely hurt the white person it was said to, or cause a beating (or worse) for the black person who uttered it? Yeah. It is not the same thing. Those of us who are not minorities can not empathize with those who have had to suffer the indignities, pain, suffering and discrimination that minorities have had to deal with for centuries. Pretending we have is insulting. I grew up in, live in, and work in the Washington DC area (at least for another month of so) and I have always found the name of the team offensive. And not because I am a Steelers fan. We refer to the team from DC as The Foreskins, after all ;) There is no reason to call a team from Washington DC "Redskins." Teams like the Utah Jazz, and the Los Angeles Lakers have names that don't fit with their cities' identities, but that is for a different reason (laziness?). The team should change its name. Heck, it may actually present them with a little extra money as all their fans will have to shell out for all new paraphernalia. Kind of like when the Bullets changed their name to the Wizards, or when the Capitals changed uniform colors (a pure marketing ploy if I ever saw one). Besides, the team plays in Maryland ;) [On preview: volfire, see owlhouse's comment right before yours. This so-called melting pot you speak of was someone else's home before it was taken away. This magical experiment in democracy and "we're all americans" wasn't some wonderful thing that just popped into existence. It came about by lying, stealing and murder.]

posted by scully at 03:14 PM on July 18

This thread reminds me of the old saying about it being better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

posted by scully at 03:15 PM on July 18

The BIA is a complete disaster Its OT, but no shit, tell me about it. I hope you weren't planning on getting any money from an Individual Indian Money (IIM) Account. I noticed my name was on a whereabouts unknown list online for the Office of the Special Trustee. So, I e-mailed them and told them that my whereabouts were not unknown. Then suddenly my name was not only not on the list but no one could tell me why my name was on there or where the hell it went. And as I've pointed out in the similar (similar as far as nicknames, not trademark litigation) University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" context, they aren't ever going to change a nickname/mascot like that. Big money rules the fucking day. They only pretend to even consider changing it. I respect the effort but am pessimistic about reaching the goal.

posted by chris2sy at 03:23 PM on July 18

Answer: 'Ours'. At the risk of being overly fussy, Native Americans did not have a concept of property. Your joke collapses like a flan in a cupboard. /buttons top button, puts on rubbers

posted by yerfatma at 03:43 PM on July 18

Hey Terrapin are you NA? Are you going to find another country to live in because of what your fore-fathers, may or may not, have done? So now we should start over just because it was'nt done right the first time???????? If we are supposed to be the civilized nation that GRUM eluded to, why are we worried or offended about a name that WAS releveant150 years ago? That shows real intelligence indeed.

posted by volfire at 03:50 PM on July 18

Also if you look back at the indians they named their team in honor of a native american player. Gregy606, I love the Tribe too, but this probably isn't true. http://www.baseballreliquary.org/story_of_sockalexis.htm I hate Chief Wahoo. I love the Tribe. The tiny superstition/curse section of my brain is filled with a certainty that the Tribe lost the World Series in '95 and '97 because they didn't get rid of Chief Wahoo when they left the old stadium. Yes, I know that's nonsense.

posted by pooch at 03:50 PM on July 18

And as a second thought what's more offensive "Redskin or NA"?

posted by volfire at 03:53 PM on July 18

And I already know I misspelled relevant wrong. So stick with the topic.

posted by volfire at 03:57 PM on July 18

Are you going to find another country to live in because of what your fore-fathers, may or may not, have done? So now we should start over just because it was'nt done right the first time???????? Yes, this was the exact argument being put forth. It had nothing to do with, I don't know, changing the name of a sports team because it sucks. What a depressing thread.

posted by Skot at 04:19 PM on July 18

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. - George Santayana History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today. -Henry Ford Those who cannot forgive history are doomed to rehash it.

posted by graymatters at 04:22 PM on July 18

At the risk of being overly fussy, Native Americans did not have a concept of property. I don't think you're being overly fussy, yerfatma, but Native Americans are/were a very diverse set of cultures at varying levels of development. I'd be very surprised if they didn't all have some concept of property, and I suspect at least some Native American cultures had a concept of land ownership. I'm no expert, but weren't the Aztecs and the Incas pretty well organized at the city-state level of development, pre-Columbus? (and I am being overly fussy in pointing all that out, I know)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:37 PM on July 18

I'm a native american- I was born here. If you go back far enough my ancestors came from Europe. Native American is just another PC term. They came across a land bridge a long time ago so they are not native to this country any more than I am. Lil brown bat should we be PC and call you a sexual intellectual otherwise known as a Fucking Know-it-all? I read the thread and people are mostly sticking to the thread of the poor indians. The problem is this is supposed to be about sports. Why did they allow somebody to turn it into a pity party for the downtrodden I don't know but I expect a tree hugger to show up at any time. This is my first and last post to your little Sports conversation

posted by gizmo065 at 04:38 PM on July 18

This is my first and last post to your little Sports conversation Damnit, what a loss. So now we should start over just because it was'nt done right the first time???????? No, we should progress. That's why we call it progress. And maybe this would be a step.

posted by yerfatma at 04:52 PM on July 18

The "ours" joke is just a joke without getting into an argument about semantics. You did "get it" right? Whether or not the whole "property" thing needs to be discussed, there was the idea of "home" for native peoples that was certainly changed under the force of a gun. hey gizmo065 - boo hoo. you felt compelled to say something but can't be arsed to stick around for anyone responding to you? all these awful people presenting views that don't mesh with your own? the world is a scary place.

posted by gspm at 05:06 PM on July 18

I have always found the Redskins team name very degrading and insensitive, whether you look at it as referring to the color of one's skin or a genocidal term. I just read the article and accompanying commentary from the brilliant minds of many spofi posters. I have to say that I am in shock at the complete and utter ignorance many of you have displayed (it also appears I missed some illuminating thoughts from someone named crew-something or other). Hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, a made-up username, and a small plastic keyboard to write your defiling rants defines cowardice.

posted by curlyelk at 05:14 PM on July 18

Hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, a made-up username, and a small plastic keyboard to write your defiling rants defines cowardice. Excellent point curlyelk. My profile is filled out in full. Always has been. It's real easy to see that I am not in fact an indigenous person (better than Native American?). But I said as much when I said "those of us who are not minorities ..." One shouldn't have to be a member of a persecuted group to understand that everyone has feelings and that those feelings should be considered. I made no mention of giving the country back to those who lived here before the good ole US of A was around, nor was that the topic of any of my comments. We are talking about a racist and hateful moniker for a team that has no identifiable reason to use it. And I stand by my opinion that it does no one harm to change the name, while it does many harm to keep it. It's not rocket brain surgery.

posted by scully at 05:41 PM on July 18

I never said I wasn't sticking around gspm. I said that was the last post to the sports conversation. If you are all I have to worry about in this "scary" world then the world has truly gotten mundane. Snappy comebacks should at least contain some semblance of originallity. Your comment could get lost amongst the clutter of just about any chat room.

posted by gizmo065 at 05:55 PM on July 18

Gizmo: You just joined today and you already flinging poo? Perhaps you should check out this thread in the Locker Room, and or spend a little time mingling with the regulars around before pissing on the rug.

posted by scully at 07:05 PM on July 18

I said that was the last post to the sports conversation. Then what was this? Lil brown bat should we be PC and call you a sexual intellectual otherwise known as a Fucking Know-it-all? Wow. Someone disagrees with you and you resort to name calling and swearing. That's the kind of comment that gets lost amongst the clutter of just about any teenage chat room.

posted by grum@work at 07:09 PM on July 18

I remember the 65th Gizmo (Gremlin born of Gizmo). He was the mean one with the "flock of seagulls" hairdo.

posted by smithnyiu at 07:32 PM on July 18

Then what was this? Clearly, gizmo065's first post in the non-sports conversation, its previus post having had so much sports content. BTW, being called a Fucking Know-it-all by someone who is so proudly and determinedly ignorant is kind of like being thrown out of a leper colony as an undesirable: the sting, what there is of it, passes real fast.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:32 PM on July 18

I accomplished what I set out to do. If you really knew what you were talking about you wouldn't have bothered. This was an experiment in pointing out how ridiculious this is. If you stopped and thought about it I didn't enter into a sports conversation because that is not what you were doing. The "regulars" were so busy berating the new commers I just had to stir the pot. I hope you are all proud of yourselves.

posted by gizmo065 at 10:30 PM on July 18

truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

posted by goddam at 11:08 PM on July 18

A friend came up with the perfect name change: why not call them the Washington Bullets? I mean, if you're going to change your nickname, then keep it in town. No one's using it right now, there's some name recognition, and hey, it's better than the Redskins, at least. You're welcome.

posted by chicobangs at 12:15 AM on July 19

Why not Capitals? The Cardinals got away with it for a while. You're right, that's gay.

posted by smithnyiu at 12:25 AM on July 19

Gizmo, please don't take it personally. It's not a case, as you say, that "The "regulars" were so busy berating the new commers." After-all, everybody in here was at one time a newcomer. Rather, what they were actually doing was exposing a wanker. And sadly -- it's true -- some of the regulars in here are guilty of being insensitive and intolerant towards really-really-really big wankers. It _is_ a scary world. Guess we'll just have to zip up our pants and get used to it.

posted by the red terror at 06:09 AM on July 19

re: land bridge arrival - there is growing speculation that 10,000-15,000 year ago land bridge immigrants weren't the first settlers, and that in fact some had arrived some many years prior, possibly by sea.

posted by garfield at 07:31 AM on July 19

Well I hope everyone feels better after 111 posts. Man, that was an exercise just getting through them all. And some of them were quite painful. To wit: There really is no justification for keeping the Redskins name. In fact, the only seemingly universal defenses from the pro-Redskins set are 'mind your own business', and 'go open a casino' - good advice for sure, but not really related to the issue at hand. re: land bridge arrival - there is growing speculation that 10,000-15,000 year ago land bridge immigrants weren't the first settlers, and that in fact some had arrived some many years prior, possibly by sea. I've done some research and concluded that this was, in fact, Conan. He was an accomplished sailor as well as barbarian, by Crom.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:58 AM on July 19

There really is no justification for keeping the Redskins name. It's not really about changing their name. It is just that, if they lose the trademark for the name, then anyone will be able to use it without reimbursing the team or the league. This might cause the team to change its name to something that it could still get royalties off of, but it does not mean that no one would use the name. The T shirt makers and others would probably have a field day continuing to sell items with the logo and name, only they would get to keep all of the money. I think the best justification for keeping the name is that the team has had it since 1933. If the customers are so offended by the name that they no longer support the team or buy its merchandise, then it will change its name. It's all about economics. That is why the attack is at the trademark level - to try to force an economic change instead of letting the market decide.

posted by graymatters at 11:34 AM on July 19

Yeah. Fantasy shit. "It's all regulated in the marketplace", and "We've had it since 1933" strikes me as the weakest ass reasons to keep propogating bigotry, because your fans buy the shit and are obviously not offended.... Why? They're your fans! They'd pay money to have John Riggins punch them in the face! Besides attacking the trademark = changing the name. It's not a secret. Change the name. Evolve. I know you can do it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:46 PM on July 19

what weedy said

posted by scully at 01:58 PM on July 19

Wow. After it's all said and done, the only thing that is worse than Metafilter doing politics is SpoFi doing racism. This was painful, indeed.

posted by psmealey at 02:32 PM on July 19

John Riggins offers face punches? Awesome. Does Doug Williams give crotch kicks?

posted by gspm at 03:34 PM on July 19

Good God, what a thread. Thankfully, I'm at work.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:48 PM on July 19

Stop reading this crap and GET BACK TO WORK!

posted by The_Black_Hand's_Boss at 04:57 PM on July 19

Breaking News !!! The N.F.L has decided to chage the name. Here are some possible new team names. - The Washignton Rednecks - The Washington Crackers - The Washington Republicans ( offensive if you ask me ) - The Washington Pale Faces - The Washington Wonder Breads The bottom line is that Washington Redskins IS indeed offensive, not just to Native Americans, but to ayone who thinks bigotry is wrong. Remember, the franchise was once owned by a Racist indivual who didnt allow African Amercans to play for his team until the 60's or 70's. Just becuase the name has been around for like 70 years, it dosent mean that it should stay. Shame on anyone who thinks different.

posted by wstptsbrged at 05:38 PM on July 19

Stop reading this crap and GET BACK TO WORK! posted by The_Black_Hand's_Boss at 4:57 PM CST on July 19 Considering I'm self-employed, this doesn't bode well for my mental well-being...

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:11 PM on July 19

It seems to me that we are talking about a Football Team that has been around for what 72 years, not a dark time in our history. You aren't going to erase history by changing the name of a sports team, you are only helping to forget about it. That is how history gets repeated. Leave the name -- "lest we forget". Of course I have met college students that tried to tell me the holocaust was a piece of fiction made up to frighten people or justify invading Germany. Oh yeah, and we never really went to the moon either.

posted by Sportsfan800 at 06:16 PM on July 19

New name for Washington Redskins: Washington Peanut Crackers Just call'em PC for short.

posted by graymatters at 06:36 PM on July 19

Leave the name -- "lest we forget". Huh? It's not a memorial, it's a football team. More like "Lest we maximize revenues and profit from marginalization." The 'Skins aren't exactly holding history class. They are contributing to the very 'forgetting' you're rallying against, by treating such a subject as fodder for painted faces, t-shirts and war chants. If I were a 'Skins fan I might be a little embarrassed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:11 AM on July 20

I'm pretty un-PC (refer to the thread on intentionally injuring mentally handicapped baseball players). I also think this: Those of us who are not minorities can not empathize with those who have had to suffer the indignities, pain, suffering and discrimination that minorities have had to deal with for centuries. Pretending we have is insulting. is pretty fucking insulting. I've had an African-American hug me crying after being called a "nigger" on a southern campus and I've covered the aftermath of KKK rallies. I can't know the suffering, but I sure can empathize. If I couldn't, I don't think I'd be human. ... but the name needs to be changed. This lawsuit won't do that in and of itself, but it will sure make it more fun to print up fake "Redskins" paraphenalia. I wonder if some of the Native American groups will even use the logo themselves to make fun of the team. I'd pay $20 for a T-shirt that said, "If you support this team (insert big official Redskins logo here), you're a dick."

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:00 AM on July 20

painted faces, t-shirts and war chants Painted faces are certainly not unique to the 'Skins team. Changing the name is not going to change history and the name is not intended as a "memorial" as you put it. Maybe the Native Americans can live with the name Washington Scalps.

posted by Sportsfan800 at 10:21 AM on July 20

wfrazerjr: There is a difference between sympathizing with someone and empathizing. The former is what your friend experienced. And what I assume most of the people here--who are not a member of a persecuted minority--are expressing when they argue in favor of the Redskins changing their name. They sympathize with the pain it causes the person. To empathize, one must be able to experience the persecution first-hand. I have marched with many groups of which I am not a member (women, black, etc), because I have sympathy for them. I have not been paid less because I of my gender, and I have not been discriminated against because of my skin tone. Therefore I cannot empathize with them. The only time I have experienced anything remotely like this was when I was 13 and visiting a friend and his grandmother in Germany. I spoke no German, but my friend did. We walked past some kids playing soccer and I wanted to play. I asked my friend (who also played soccer) if he would ask them if we could join them. He spoke to them in German, and it got a little heated. Apparently they didn't want to play with me because I was American. So it is my position that anyone who hasn't been in that position can't truly understand what it is like, and that is why I chose the words I did.

posted by scully at 10:32 AM on July 20

Maybe the Native Americans can live with the name Washington Scalps Maybe you can live with the name Wahington 'Anything that isn't a stupid ignorant racial slur'. Becuase I think you can.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:41 AM on July 20

empathy : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for empathy sympathy : A feeling or an expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another; compassion or commiseration. Often used in the plural.

posted by garfield at 10:42 AM on July 20

Yup. I bunged the definition and usage of sympathy. However, I still stand by my opinion that pretending you can put yourself in someone's shoes when it comes to discrimination or racism doesn't come close to actually being in that person's shoes. Apologies for my usage error.

posted by scully at 11:32 AM on July 20

A man I know was in the Canadian army and was part of the commando raid at Dieppe, was wounded and discharged. Not being one to quit he joined the american army and got back to Germany for the end of the war. He did 3 tours of duty in Korea, 2 tours in Vietnam, and was decorated with the Bronze Star-twice. When I asked him what did the word Redskin mean to him he said Football team. I asked him if he thought of it as a racial slur he said "riduculious, that is making a mountain out of a molehill" He is also part Mic-Mac ( a tribe in Canada near Ottawa) This guy is my Dad, and I respect his opinion.

posted by Sportsfan800 at 12:12 PM on July 20

"Mic-Mac (a tribe in Canada near Ottawa)." Glad someone here's got a solid grasp of their culture and history. The Mi'kmaq were the prevalent indigenous peoples who populated the huge Gaspe peninsula in Quebec, lived in Newfoundland, were settled throughout all the main rivers, territories and coastlines of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, down into Maine and New England -- the tribe controlled a vast area bigger than 100,000 square miles. When somebody says the Mi'kmaq are just a little tribe near Ottawa, you have to be careful, 'cos it sounds suspiciously like someone who turns a mountain into a molehill and doesn't know what they're talking about.

posted by the red terror at 01:08 PM on July 20

got back to Germany for the end of the war. He did 3 tours of duty in Korea, 2 tours in Vietnam This, in the parlance of the American Military, is known as "A three-time loser".

posted by yerfatma at 01:54 PM on July 20

Sportsfan800 - you are missing the point. Your father may not find the team name offensive, but does he even identify himself as "Mic-Mac," as you put it? Is that part of his identity? Not every individual will find the team name offensive, but does that make it any less offensive to those who do?

posted by curlyelk at 02:07 PM on July 20

re: last; substitute "inhabited" for "controlled" -- Mi'kmaq's weren't an occupying force, they simply lived all over the Maritimes and later co-existed peacfully with French settlers / Acadians.

posted by the red terror at 03:00 PM on July 20

When somebody says the Mi'kmaq are just a little tribe near Ottawa, you have to be careful, 'cos it sounds suspiciously like someone who turns a mountain into a molehill and doesn't know what they're talking about. Sportsfan800 never said it was a "little" tribe. He merely said it was a tribe and gave a location for those who are not aware of it. The problem with you PCers is that you don't listen to anyone but yourself and the ones who agree with you. Then, you have to twist what anybody else says to try to claim that they are either stupid or a bigot.

posted by graymatters at 03:01 PM on July 20

not to generalize, of course.

posted by gspm at 03:06 PM on July 20

i think some serious linguistic theory is appropriate to this discussion to address the evolution of the meaning of the term in question. not that I can supply such theoretics.

posted by garfield at 03:39 PM on July 20

This, in the parlance of the American Military, is known as "A three-time loser". Yeah, he even defended your right to your small opinion Not every individual will find the team name offensive, but does that make it any less offensive to those who do? I will probably get dragged through the wringer for this too but until I was 11 I had no idea what bigotry was and my DAD had to explain it to me. I grew up in a military family and lived on military bases until I was 16. Everybody was the same and everybody was treated the same. My best friend when I lived in Germany was a black guy (thats what my generation call them so tough) My Dad got orders back to the states then on to Vietnam. Tim's family ended up in Denver which is where we stayed. When I stumbled across him things had changed-not me, him. I didn't fit into his group anymore. When somebody says the Mi'kmaq are just a little tribe near Ottawa, you have to be careful, You are right, I don't know that part of my heritage. The only one who ever talked about it was my Grandfather and all he ever said was "If I didn't knock it off he was sending me back to live with my great-uncle on the reservation. This was when I was 9 visiting my relatives in Ottawa ( hence the location)

posted by Sportsfan800 at 06:05 PM on July 20

Uhm, que? I learned that term from dad, who served two tours in Vietnam yet held his service cheap compared to our older neighbor who was a 3 time loser.

posted by yerfatma at 06:33 PM on July 20

i think some serious linguistic theory is appropriate to this discussion to address the evolution of the meaning of the term in question. Can't help you there, but there is an article which describes the history of the football team's use of name and eventual logo (a logo including a picture of an Indian as requested by a Native American leader). Hope the link does not require registration.

posted by graymatters at 08:07 PM on July 20

LONDON (Reuters) - The word "fail" should be banned from use in British classrooms and replaced with the phrase "deferred success" to avoid demoralizing pupils, a group of teachers has proposed How far do you go to make everyone "feel good"

posted by Sportsfan800 at 07:37 AM on July 21

Look. I don't care if the entire Mic-Mac tribe are Redskins fans, the name is still a disgusting slur, and an embarassment. It should be changed, not because we can identify n people who believe the same thing, but because it cheapens the sport, city and country. And in Washington, of all places. LONDON (Reuters) - The word "fail" should be banned from use in British classrooms and replaced with the phrase "deferred success" to avoid demoralizing pupils, a group of teachers has proposed How far do you go to make everyone "feel good" Seriously - changing an offensive name for a professional sports team and this little tid-bit are completely different. Just another shallow attempt to jump into some anti-PC diatribe, yet completely different circumstances and goals. Not relevant.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:02 AM on July 21

When somebody says the Mi'kmaq are just a little tribe near Ottawa, you have to be careful, You are right, I don't know that part of my heritage. The only one who ever talked about it was my Grandfather and all he ever said was "If I didn't knock it off he was sending me back to live with my great-uncle on the reservation. This was when I was 9 visiting my relatives in Ottawa ( hence the location) It certainly wouldn't hurt to learn something about your culture, it's a perfectly rich and rewarding history, and that's the reason people care. Being that your heritage is Mi'kmaq around Ottawa, it is probably Algonquin Mi'kmaq, which is rare, that is about as west as it gets for them, most of the natives from Montreal west to the Great Lakes and down into Pennsylvania were Huron (what the French call Iroquois). Aside from that, at another level, ponder and ask yourself: why did dad go fight wars in Vietnam and Korea? He would have had personal reasons. You'll probably find it had not just a little -- but a LOT -- to do with ideology. Most likely some fatcat in Washington's ideology, but ideology nevertheless. Either he believed in the paranoia of the "domino theory" or he was absolutely convinced sacrificing his blood for his flag no matter the reason, or he was drafted and couldn't get out, or he did it for the money, or he did it because he wanted to make his family proud, or he did it because to do otherwise would make him a chicken and not a warrior, or perhaps it was a great way to meet new people and kill them -- I dunno, there are probably as many different reasons as there were casulaties in those wars, but you can be sure it had a lot to do with ideology. Understand, the grievances and ideas that make men fall on a sword for other men may not be the same grievances and ideas underlying the reasons why some natives think the Redskin team name is offensive. But grievances and ideology they are, nevertheless. If you or anybody elses cares enough to take pride in your heritage and dares to study and/or confront it, you might actually learn a thing or two that could make a difference in the way you look at the world. I certainly won't insist you have to -- that is your choice to make in life. If you decide that you're too busy or perhaps too ashamed or couldn't care less and believe the past is just the past and you'd rather leave it alone, that's perfectly fine. Just don't expect that everybody else feels the same way. Cross that river at Ottawa sometime and look at the license plates with Quebec's motto: Je me souviens (I Remember). Roots and history and culture are important. If it was otherwise, why did dad go to fight wars?

posted by the red terror at 08:25 AM on July 21

Sportsfan800, I think your contribution to the discussion was interesting until you provided an unrelated line of news from England. Now it just looks like you have an anti-PC axe to grind. The topic is being batted around from all different angles but that approach seems a little reactionary, like a last resort. To me at least.

posted by gspm at 09:04 AM on July 21

Sportsfan - your response to my question didn't really seem appropriate to the topic at hand. Maybe I am being a little to dense this morning to see how that story relates, but I'll keep an open mind if you want to explain further. I am still curious why you think that if your father finds the team name unoffensive, everyone else should as well.

posted by curlyelk at 11:46 AM on July 21

How far down the PC road do you go before you don't even recognize your own country? You all seem to be proponents of PC so apparently I have already wandered too far. If you don't get the point of the London article then you can criticize me all you want but I am not going to explain it to you. You have narrowed your mind to the point that the only right way is your way and you will never, ever understand it. I will say this - most every comment I have made zeroed in on one portion of what I said, then taken out of contexet or twisted around and thrown back in my face. I applaud graymatters who started to point this out earlier. Like I said before Red Terrier I don't know.. my grandfather lived mostly in New Brunswick about 50 miles north of Muncton. I only said we were visiting them in Ottawa and at 9 I assumed he meant close by.

posted by Sportsfan800 at 01:25 PM on July 21

Insert "someone" after "I have made

posted by Sportsfan800 at 02:42 PM on July 21

Sportsfan, if your grandfather lived 50 miles north of Moncton, your roots would probably be in the Burnt Church area, and those are some of the most doggedly determined First Nations activists in all of Canada (witness the violence the past couple years when they disobeyed the law about illegal fishing grounds -- what they consider sacred). People have differing viewpoints, they have grievances, and just because someone is brave enough to stand up and fight for their beliefs does not make that person ipso-facto "PC". You need to pull your ear away from the Rush Limbaugh program long enough to get a grasp and formulate your own ideas.

posted by the red terror at 03:02 PM on July 21

My Grandfather died over 20 years ago and I havn't been back to New Brunswick in 35 years. I don't listen to talk radio and I think my own viewpoint is pretty well grounded. There you go again- assuming that because I mention a location I must be from there. Well I was born in Texas, spent 13 months there and have never been back to the town where I was born. I spent the first 17 years living all over the world and met a lot of different cultures. The longest I ever lived in one location during that time was Germany. I also spent a year in France. I have been to every state except 4 of them. Now you have tried to pin down what I'm about 3 times based on a location I have mentioned and so far you have been so far off base it is getting ridiculious. This site is called SportsFilter so why don't you stick to that instead of attacking everything everybody says

posted by Sportsfan800 at 03:19 PM on July 21

Ok see if you can wrap your head around this- First I am not Jewish and I am not religious. The word jew however is used like a dirty word given the right context. Because of this I feel uncomfortable using the word or hearing the word. It too can be used as a slur. Should the word be banned from use because some people find it offensive. If you look long enough you are going to find someone that is offended by just about anything. I am not oblivious to the fact that some people find things like a Sportsteams Name and logo offensive. Some of the people that are crying foul I have reservations about though. Is the young lady that is mentioned in the article that this thread is all about doing it for the right reasons or is she practicing her litigation skills? Should the Jews change their name because I don't like to be "Jewed"? (my apollogies to the jewish community). Where do we draw the line? I never said the name should stay just because my Dad said he didn't think it is that big of a problem- I said I respected his opinion. Don't attack him for what I said. I'm sure that when the term "Redskin" first came out it was very hurtful. I just think that we are looking at a coloquilism (forgive my spelling) The flip side of that is a long time ago it was ok to say you were Fornicating Under Command of the King. Now it is not accepeted in mixed company.

posted by Sportsfan800 at 04:34 PM on July 21

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