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Why The Redskins’ Name Debate Is Getting Ridiculous

Posted on 18 June 2014 by Brandon Sacks

In the NFL, no team has caused more of a disturbance than the Washington Redskins.  There has been a major discussion about the name of the franchise.  The name is considered to be a belittling term for Native Americans, and there has been a push to change it to something that is less controversial.  There has been a strong recommendation from many different people, including some Native American Tribes and the US Congress, to change the name.  The problem with this is the owner of the franchise.  Dan Snyder has made it very obvious that he has no intentions of changing the name, and he has been very adamant about that.

Earlier today, there was a serious blow to Snyder’s intentions.  The US Patent Office has officially cancelled the Redskins’ trademark, calling it disparaging to Native Americans.  This means that the Redskins organization no longer has control over the sale of merchandise for the team; some regular Joe Schmo can now sell merchandise with the Redskins name and logo on it without problems from the team.  Some have called this revocation the beginning of the end for the name of the franchise.

Everyone that is a fan of the sport is caught up in the situation in one way or another.  However, the reality of the situation is that it is absolutely ridiculous.  Dan Snyder has made it obvious that he has zero intention to change the name, yet people are still trying to convince him to do so.  This same exact revocation happened back in 1999 where they were denied trademarks, but the team won the appeal.  You can expect the same exact series of events to transpire.

Here’s another question that is brought up by the attack on the Redskins.  Why is it not acceptable for Washington to have this name when there are other teams that have potential derogatory names for Native Americans.  The Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, and Atlanta Braves all are teams that have names derived from Native American culture, yet it is acceptable for them to have their names.  The Indians are even referred to as the Tribe, but people decide to look past this because it’s easier to gang up on the Redskins.

The Redskins are a privately owned company, yet people want to force the owner to change the name.  What about all of the state college and public high school teams that are subsidized by the federal government?  The reigning BCS National Champion Florida State Seminoles shouldn’t be exempt from this argument.  The William & Mary Tribe, who were the Indians until the mid-1980s, seem exempt from this whole debacle, yet the minute change doesn’t remove the ties to Native American culture.  What about in high school?  The oldest high school in Baltimore County, Franklin High School in Reisterstown, which has been around since 1820, is called the Indians.  None of these teams receive any criticism from the general public, yet the government has the power to make these schools change their names should they be found degrading.

What is is about the mob mentality that causes people to want to gang up on the Redskins?  There are other teams in all levels of sports that have names that could be equally offensive, yet people turn a blind eye.  By doing this, it only makes the arguments that are presented against Washington’s historic football franchise that much more laughable.  In this era of being politically correct about everything, you cannot judge one group without judging all of them.  People need to start using certain arguments with every single sports team, from recreational to professional, before this entire spectacle with the Redskins will change.  Until then, it will remain a huge joke.

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