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Fifty Senators Call On N.F.L. To Change Redskins Name

Washington Redskins Helmet

Mirroring an action that was taken last September by a group of House Members, half of the members of the United States Senate have sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to change the name of the Redskins, citing the NBA’s actions against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as a reason for the nations biggest sports league to act:

WASHINGTON — Fifty members of the Senate have signed a letter to the N.F.L. to urge its leadership to press the Washington Redskins to change the team name in the aftermath of tough sanctions against the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers for racially charged comments.

The position embraced by half of the Senate, and the willingness of the lawmakers to sign a formal request to Commissioner Roger Goodell, escalated the fight over the name and represented an effort to put increasing pressure on the league, which receives a federal tax break, and the ownership of the team.

“The N.F.L. can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” said the letter, which was circulated by Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, and endorsed by Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the majority leader. “We urge the N.F.L. to formally support a name change for the Washington football team.”

Cantwell said that “we are going to find out if the N.F.L. can act against this kind of discrimination as quickly as the N.B.A. did.” She said she considered the Senate letter an important milestone.

“Listen, it is hard to get 50 people in this place to agree on anything,” she said.

Reid has made the push for the name change a top interest. He said in an interview that he could not understand the league’s resisting the senators on the name change given other pressing disputes it was navigating, including head injuries and the health of former players.

“I have 22 tribal organizations in Nevada,” Reid said. “They are not mascots. They are human beings. And this term Redskins is offensive to them.”

All but five Senate Democrats — Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — signed the letter. It was not circulated among Republicans.

N.F.L. officials said they had not received the letter. But a league spokesman, Brian McCarthy, provided a statement saying the league “has long demonstrated a commitment to progressive leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion, both on and off the field.”

“The intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image,” the statement said. “The name is not used by the team or the N.F.L. in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently.”

(…)

The senators said the quick action the N.B.A. took against Donald Sterling, the owner of the Clippers, should be an example to the N.F.L.

“We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the N.B.A. did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” the letter said.

As I’ve noted before, the issue of the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name, and the calls on ownership to change the name, or on the N.F.L. to force a name change, is one that has reared its head several times in the past. The usual course of events has been that the controversy lasts for awhile, sometimes as long as a couple of years or more, while ownership resists calls for change and the league generally demurs on the subject. The most recent push started a few years ago and has included, among things, an ongoing effort to deny the team protection under the Trademark Law because of the “offensiveness” of the name. When that effort petered out, a group of Congressmen introduced a bill that would accomplish the same thing, that bill has gone nowhere in no small part because the prospect of Congress stripping a property right from an entity in this manner would , arguably, be unconstitutional. Outside of the political sphere, several sports writers and non-sports publications have instituted the rather silly policy of never again referring to the team by its name. Additionally, both the league and team ownership have taken the steps of meeting with representatives of groups opposed to the use of the Redskins name, although nothing has come of any of those discussions.

Like Jack Kent Cooke before him, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has made it clear that he has no intention of ever changing the team’s name. The N.F.L., meanwhile, has generally taken a non-committal position on the issue, taking pains not to offend the people who might find the Redskins name offensive but also not taking a position against the name that most likely would not be supported by the team owners that actually control the league. Given that polling has found that upwards of seven in ten Americans do not believe that a name change is necessary, it isn’t at all surprising that they would take this position. If the numbers were reversed and Snyder and the league were looking at the (unlikely) possibility of suffering in the pocketbook because of the Redskins name, then there would be much more likelihood of a name change. Indeed, as many people have pointed out, Snyder would likely make out fairly well from a name change as people rush out to replace their Redskins memorabilia with products adorned with the new team name. Of course, at the same time, all of that Redskins gear would suddenly become more valuable in the collectibles market. The reason they aren’t acting isn’t because Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell hate Native Americans or want to insult them, it’s because there is no good business reason for them to do so. No amount of pressuring from United States Senators is going to change that unless and until public opinion changes.

This is where the analogy to the Donald Sterling situation fails completely. While that story was still breaking, Matt Bernius noted that Frank DeFord had drawn the analogy between Sterling’s racist comments and the Redskins, but there is a crucial difference that DeFord ignored. In the Sterling example, the public reaction to his comments was swift, immediate, and overwhelmingly negative. More importantly, Sterling’s comments caused an immediate uproar among the NBA’a players and happened just as the league’s playoffs were beginning. Sponsors responded by disassociating themselves from the Clippers and the NBA. In other words, within days it became apparent that Sterling’s continued association with the NBA would threaten the league as a whole unless action was taken. There’s nothing similar happening with regard to the Redskins. Polls don’t show any public outcry about the name, and players have not spoken out about the matter. To the extent they have, they’ve been largely supportive of the name, such as the comments that Redskins Quaterback Robert Griffin III has made on the matter. Unless that changes, the NFL is not going to act and, quite honestly, I don’t see any reason why they should.

On a final note, I would think that members of the United States Senate would better use their time taking care of the things the Constitution charges them with taking care of rather than trying to publicly shame a private business like this. If the Redskins want to change their name, and maybe someday they will, it should be their choice, not because a bunch of Senators pressured them into doing it.

Here’s the letter:

Senators Letter to N.F.L. Regarding Redskins by Doug Mataconis

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    If the Redskins want to change their name, and maybe someday they will, it should be their choice, not because a bunch of Senators pressured them into doing it.

    Similarly, if restaurant owners in the Jim Crow South wanted to serve African-American customers, then that should have been their choice, not because a bunch of Senators passed a civil rights bill forcing them into doing it….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 8

  2. gVOR08 says:

    On a final note, I would think that members of the United States Senate would better use their time taking care of the things the Constitution charges them with taking care of rather than trying to publicly shame a private business like this.

    One might think they have better things to do. But since all we’re talking about is a few minutes of time from a do-nothing anyway Congress, and since all we’re talking about is the name of a football team, one would be hard out to care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  3. An Interested Party says:

    …the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name…

    So there should be no problem if the owner of a sports team wants to name his franchise the Yellowskins, the Blackskins, the Whiteskins, etc…., after all, any offense about those names would only be alleged…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  4. Moosebreath says:

    “More importantly, Sterling’s comments caused an immediate uproar among the NBA’a players and happened just as the league’s playoffs were beginning. Sponsors responded by disassociating themselves from the Clippers and the NBA. In other words, within days it became apparent that Sterling’s continued association with the NBA would threaten the league as a whole unless action was taken. There’s nothing similar happening with regard to the Redskins. Polls don’t show any public outcry about the name, and players have not spoken out about the matter.”

    So, whether something is popular or not is the most important issue in determining whether something is permitted to be done to harm a small minority. I’m sure you support applying this rule to confiscatory taxes on billionaires as well, right Doug?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  5. Rafer Janders says:

    …the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name…

    Woud Doug ever have the nerve to walk up to an actual American Indian and say “hey, Redskin”? Would he ever describe an actual American Indian to someone else as a “Redskin”?

    Answer: no. He’d chicken out, because he knows that his listeners would be offended. He’s perfectly well aware that there’s nothing “alleged” about the offensiveness of the name but is trying to weasel out of that by lying.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  6. James Pearce says:

    As I’ve noted before, the issue of the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name, and the calls on ownership to change the name, or on the N.F.L. to force a name change, is one that has reared its head several times in the past.

    Something tells me that this test of wills will end in….

    A new name for the Washington Redskins. At this point, the only question is whether the name change will be voluntary or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  7. James Joyner says:

    @James Pearce: I tend to agree that it’s inevitable at this point. We’re all agreed that nobody starting a professional sports team—or a T-ball team, or rec league team—today would give it the nickname “Redskins.” The only real argument in favor is “it’s always been called that.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  8. Ken says:

    the issue of the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name

    Really Doug?

    I mean, REALLY?

    If we were discussing the Kansas City Pickaninnies, the Biloxi Spearchuckers, the Tucson Chinamen, or the El Paso Wetbacks would you still be talking about their “alleged” offensiveness?

    Hiding behind “alleged” in a case like this is just authorial cowardice. Either call it what it is – an offensive ethnic slur, or, if you don’t think it’s offensive, have the courage of your convictions and say so.

    Shameful

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  9. rudderpedals says:

    I don’t know if the letter and shaming is going to effect change but they’re worth doing for the reasons Rafer and Ken note. The news is that Dems are getting much better at trolling the reactionaries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  10. Hall Of Record says:

    The team should be renamed the “Washington Bureaucrats.” No matter how well the opposition plays or what the rules of the game are, they could never be defeated.

    Then on to the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Chiefs….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner: The other argument in favor of keeping the name is that the fans can keep using all their old Redskins tee shirts, beer mugs, and undershorts. I’d have thought Snyder would like the idea of forcing his fans to buy all new licensed logo stuff. And he could squirrel away the team store’s current inventory for the rarity value it should have in twenty years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Ken says:

    @Hall Of Record: The team should be renamed the “Washington Bureaucrats.” No matter how well the opposition plays or what the rules of the game are, they could never be defeated.

    Yeah, but they’d probably never finish more than a single game or two per season

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  13. Rob in CT says:

    They can’t get anything productive done, Doug. This is all they have.

    Normally I’d work up some annoyance that Congress was wasting time with the NFL, but you know what? What the hell else are they gonna do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  14. Rob Prather says:

    On a final note, I would think that members of the United States Senate would better use their time taking care of the things the Constitution charges them with taking care of rather than trying to publicly shame a private business like this.

    This is the only thing they can get done that won’t be filibustered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  15. Tyrell says:

    @An Interested Party: Let me say this, as I have said before.
    A few years ago the local school board took it upon themselves to change my former high school name, evidently to please a handful of people, disregarding the fact that the name (Braves) was chosen as a tribute to the courage, skills, heritage, and athleticism of the American Indian. This was done without asking the students and former students what their opinion was: arrogance at its highest. Then the taxpsyers had to foot the bill of several thousand dollars to change signs, billboards, emblems, and other school insignia.
    Have these senators asked the Redskin players and former players (greatest players in NFL history) for their opinion? How about the fans and season ticket owners ? They are the ones who carry the NFL.
    Where will this stop? There are now these so-called animal rights people who do not want teams named after animals (“degrading, trivializing”). So then what? Colors? Minerals? Plants? How about the Seven Dwarves or Greek myth creatures? Somebody will always complain about something.
    My personal choice would be “Warriors” . Fits right in to the Washington fight song.
    And how about the statue on top of the Capitol?
    It is a dangerous precedent for Congress to tell someone what they can name something. Next they will tell people what they can name their dog.
    Enough of this stuff of a few people stirring things up to get their way.
    Everyone that I have heard on the radio thinks it is ridiculous. Congress has other things they need to worry about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  16. rjs says:

    this gives them cover for their de facto rascist economic policies…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  17. pylon says:

    @Tyrell: Why would players or fans get to decide if an offensive name is offensive?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  18. pylon says:

    @gVOR08: Using Redskins merchandise wouldn’t be prohibited I imagine, so that isn’t really a huge issue, and like you said, would probably financially benefit Snyder (sales of new AND old logos).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    Actually the Redskins were the Boston Braves when they were founded in 1932.

    In any case…they’ve been called the Redskins for 80 years…and now someone’s upset?
    I say we just leave them “grand-fathered” in.
    I’m a pirate…and I’m not complaining about the Buccaneers name or the rather effeminate feather in their hat.
    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/1041/Tampa_Bay_Buccaneers/1976/Primary_Logo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  20. wr says:

    @Tyrell: You’re pushing this a little too far. Definitely revealing the troll behind the codger mask here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  21. edmondo says:

    Thank God the senate has fixed those income inequality issues, ended America’s longest war in Afghanistan and even solved those pesky problems at the Veteran’s Administration that they have time to dwell on the really tough problems that crop up in America. It’s shit like this that makes voters totally disgusted with Washington politicians.

    After November, a lot of those 50 senators won’t be around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  22. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    Enough of this stuff of a few people stirring things up to get their way.

    I’m sick of the tea parties too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  23. Andre Kenji says:

    @gVOR08: I don´t like Snyder, but I don´t think that he could stand the backlash from the fans. Anyway, I think that they should find a tribe to license the name: they could bring real Amerindians to their games, it would be fan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Rick DeMent says:

    How about the Washington Rednecks? I mean it still has “red” in the name …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  25. Rafer Janders says:

    @Hall Of Record:

    The team should be renamed the “Washington Bureaucrats.”

    Absolutely not. “Washington Insiders” or nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rick DeMent:

    How about the Washington Rednecks? I mean it still has “red” in the name …

    And any offensiveness would be only alleged….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  27. mantis says:

    I have a few name ideas.

    The Washington:
    White Devils
    Conquistadors
    Smallpox Killers
    Garryowens
    White Scalps

    I’m sure no one will object. They’re just harmless historical names.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  28. Moosebreath says:

    @mantis:

    “Garryowens”

    I prefer Morgul the Friendly Drelb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. James Pearce says:

    @James Joyner:

    I tend to agree that it’s inevitable at this point.

    Yes, when something like this is on the radar of 50 Senators, the inevitability factor increases. Right now they’re writing letters of protest. That could easily morph into writing legislation.

    I think legislation would be rather unnecessary, but if it came to be, looks like they can at least make an effort to round up the votes.

    Resistance from Snyder just seems like a long slog towards distraction. It’s not the best course of action to choose if your main goal is winning ball games.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  30. rodney dill says:

    …to the Washington Gridlock

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. Tyrell says:

    @James Pearce: But I don’t hear anyone complaining or bellyaching about the Blackhawks. Of course we know why: no one is going to mess with the Hawks !! Their fans won’t have it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  32. Tyrell says:

    @pylon: Well, they do have a stake in the team; more than some news media “journalist”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  33. Tyrell says:

    @James Pearce: And winning should be the priority. I would accept any name, including Washington Nerds, if they won the Super Bowl. Mr. Snyder needs to get some better talent.
    And how many of these senators actually go to the games and support the team?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @Rick DeMent:
    They could use the Confederate flag as their logo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  35. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    But I don’t hear anyone complaining or bellyaching about the Blackhawks.

    Well, Black Hawk was a great Sauk warrior, while Redskin is a slur. That difference may have something to do with it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  36. Tyrell says:

    @mantis: Thanks for the information. I thought it was a tribe name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    Sure. Black Hawk was the subject of the first American Indian autobiography published. You can read it free here. It’s fascinating. He’s a pretty big deal here in Illinois.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. Tyrell says:

    @mantis: “Garryowens”: one of the greatest military songs in US history. Imagine seeing General Custer and the 7th on the parade ground to that tune. Priceless.
    See “They Died With Their Boots Own”; movie classic with Errol Flynn as General Custer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Pylon says:

    @Tyrell: Having a stake in the team does not qualify someone to determine offensiveness. And it strikes me that such people are the least able to make an objective decision

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. Pylon says:

    @Tyrell: even if Blackhawk was a tribe name, Redskin ain’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  41. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    “Garryowens”: one of the greatest military songs in US history.

    Oh, I know. I was using it as kind of a taunt, though it doesn’t really work. But I was thinking of the battleground, not the parade ground. Didn’t turn out all that well for Custer and the 7th. They Died With Their Boots On is not bad, but very historically inaccurate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. bill says:

    how is it “discrimination” anyway? are they denying any players a chance to lose with them because of their race? it’s just fluff for the perpetually angry crowd, look inwards kids.
    if so many in dc were disgusted, maybe the place wouldn’t be sold out every game for the next forever?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  43. CB says:

    @Tyrell:

    There is some contention on the Blackhawks. Especially with the logo. Thing is, nobody likes hockey (because they suck). If it had more exposure, it would be in the debate.

    But it wouldn’t be a close call between the two. One was the chief of the Sauks. The other is a slur. Do people really not understand this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Rafer Janders: Rafer, you may think you are being sarcastic here but Mataconis is a libertarian. I assume that is exactly how he views Jim Crow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. Tyrell says:

    @CB: Probably not. I don’t understand how any one could consider “Braves” to be offensive, as in the case of our high school. The people who chose it years ago as a tribute to the courage, culture, values, contributions, and athleticism of the Native Americans would be aghast and offended that someone would consider that offensive.
    But Congress is overstepping in trying to interfere in this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  46. de stijl says:

    @Ken:

    If we were discussing the Kansas City Pickaninnies, the Biloxi Spearchuckers, the Tucson Chinamen, or the El Paso Wetbacks would you still be talking about their “alleged” offensiveness?

    I can’t speak for the other teams, but no one really knows what the Tucson Chinamen players and fans feel about their team’s name. Those guys are inscrutable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    On a final note, I would think that members of the United States Senate would better use their time taking care of the things the Constitution charges them with taking care of rather than trying to publicly shame a private business like this.

    And once again Doug gets his panties in a bunch over some politicians expressing what in any other world would be a private opinion. “Oh, but they did it on Senatorial Letterhead!” Uhhhh gee, they are Senators!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    If it bothers them so much, then why don’t these millionaire Democrats pool their money and buy the team to rename it?

    Oh, and apparently no one else bothered to actually look at the letter: only 49 Senators signed it, not 50. 48 Democrats and Bernie Sanders.

    When I looked at the letter, I noticed it had two columns of names, but one was shorter than the other — which should not happen if there were 50 names. So I started counting, and Sanders’ name jumped out as another anomaly. And the article says that it wasn’t circulated among the entire Senate, just the Democrats.

    Christ, you’d think that the “real journalists” could at least learn to count…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  49. bill says:

    @Rick DeMent: that can be complimentary to some people!

    speaking of “racist” comments- i was watching tv at some bar last week and saw a wendy’s commercial promoting some italian sandwich- the cute red head say’s “no wonder italians talk with their hands” at the end, we’ve come pretty far for that to get past any scrutiny- i believe!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  50. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yeah, the same people who think there are 50 signees probably also think there are 57 states!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  51. Tillman says:

    All but five Senate Democrats — Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — signed the letter. It was not circulated among Republicans.

    Coming one-party state!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  52. Tillman says:

    While I agree the name is offensive, I don’t think every offensive thing on the planet requires change. “Offensive” and “harmful” are two different things, and I don’t see (or haven’t been exposed to) how this name is harming people. Hell, there’s still seven Lynchburgs in the continental United States, where’s the popular movement to get those towns to change their incredibly more offensive name?

    That said, “Washington Warriors.” Alliterative. Fits in the fight song. Merchandise revenue. Social bonus for appealing to the better nature of the football crowd. How the hell is this name still around? Sure, Congress is “interfering” (writing a letter is interference?) in a private business decision, but it’s definitely the kind of interfering the guy trying to tell his friend he’s too drunk to drive is doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. Moosebreath says:

    “Hell, there’s still seven Lynchburgs in the continental United States, where’s the popular movement to get those towns to change their incredibly more offensive name?”

    How many of them were named for a person whose last name was Lynch? It’s not exactly an uncommon name.

    And dictionary.com cites the World English Dictionary saying the verb “lynch” was likely a case of applying someone’s name to an action, as it gives as the etymology “[probably after Charles Lynch (1736--96), Virginia justice of the peace, who presided over extralegal trials of Tories during the American War of Independence]“

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. Tillman says:

    @Moosebreath: Point taken. Lynchburg, Virginia is specifically named after John Lynch. But that brings us back to squaring off between the intentions behind the names (as Tyrell points out with his high school example) and perceived offensiveness of them.

    The Redskins are supposedly named in homage to their coach at the time, an interesting figure himself who might have been (and probably was) faking Sioux heritage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug:

    As I’ve noted before, the issue of the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name, and the calls on ownership to change the name, or on the N.F.L. to force a name change, is one that has reared its head several times in the past.

    If, by way of example, Notre Dame’s name was “The Drunken Fighting Irish,” with the school logo being a picture of a drunk Irishman in the gutter passed out, I’m guessing many people might allege that this would be offensive.

    Dan Snyder should acknowledge the obvious (that the name is now an anachronism, a slur, and an embarrassment) and publicly say that he will take action to change the team name, and hold a contest asking fans to suggest a new name, with the winner receiving team memorabilia, and so forth. Involve DC football fans and make the change. I think he would create a lot of favorable publicity for himself (for a change) and the team.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  56. An Interested Party says:

    how is it “discrimination” anyway?

    That’s mighty white of you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  57. ringhals says:

    “…the alleged offensiveness of the Redskins name…”

    That’s some mighty fine trolling there, Doug. Mighty fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It’s becoming more and more apparent what a major priority to the Democratic party: they need to control what others do with their property. They don’t want to own the property, as that would involve actual responsibility; they just want to control it, make the actual owners live up to the Democrats’ standards on their own dime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s becoming more and more apparent what a major priority to the Democratic party: they need to control what others do with their property.

    Yes, it is a lot like the Republican obsession with controlling women’s reproductive health choices and decisions, and mandatory trans-vaginal probes, and so forth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Yes, it is a lot like the Republican obsession with controlling women’s reproductive health choices and decisions

    Quite a few of us have a very simple position: do what you want, just don’t ask us to support it — verbally or financially. But that’s now considered a hate crime, or whatever you’re currently calling the greatest sin under liberalism.

    Which brings me back to my point: you want to use our property to support your ideals. And hate us for wanting to keep our property to ourselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Which brings me back to my point: you want to use our property to support your ideals. And hate us for wanting to keep our property to ourselves.

    Simply put, I do not consider women to be the property of men generally, nor of white male legislators specifically, and I prefer to let women make their own health care and reproductive health choices.

    Frankly, I’m not sure how that squares with your idea that I’m trying to take your property.

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  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Nobody was trying to deny Sandra Fluke her birth control. (Personally, I’m in favor of her never reproducing, but that’s just me.) I just didn’t think that her use or non-use of birth control should be a public issue, but she insisted it was by demanding that other people pay for it.

    This is where you insist that a right you can’t afford to exercise is a right you’ve been denied, so I’ll preemptively answer and ask you if you can buy me a gun and a printing press, so I can exercise my 1st and 2nd Amendment rights that I’m currently denied.

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  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I rather liked Jeff Goldstein’s suggestion for renaming the team: the “Washington Light Skinned blacks who don’t speak with a Negro dialect unless they want to” or the “Washington Clean and articulate mostly black men.”

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  64. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Quite a few of us have a very simple position: do what you want, just don’t ask us to support it — verbally or financially.”

    Whether or not that is your position, it is a position which no Republican seeking office can hold.

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  65. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Nobody was trying to deny Sandra Fluke her birth control. (Personally, I’m in favor of her never reproducing, but that’s just me.) I just didn’t think that her use or non-use of birth control should be a public issue, but she insisted it was by demanding that other people pay for it.

    Republicans don’t seem to have a problem with insurance policies (which people pay for, they’re not free, as many Republicans seem to believe) that pay for Viagra or Cialis prescriptions for 50-60 year old men, which enables them to get their 25 year girlfriends pregnant, but have a problem with insurance policies that cover birth control (which ultimately reduces the number of unwanted births or demand for abortions).

    By the way, Fluke called for insurance coverage of birth control because it was and is related to women’s reproductive health, not because (as Rush was trying to tell conservative men) she wanted someone to pay for her sex life. Men get coverage of ED drugs because it (ED) is considered medical treatment, and not an endorsement of sexual activity (outside marriage) between older men and younger women.

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  66. Ken says:

    @Rafer Janders: Your comparison is hackneyed-and moronic. Try another one to keep fighting “Racism!.”

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  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Then perhaps Ms. Fluke should have gone to school somewhere else, instead of explicitly choosing a Catholic university that explicitly says that it abides by and promotes Catholic beliefs.

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  68. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Then perhaps Ms. Fluke should have gone to school somewhere else, instead of explicitly choosing a Catholic university that explicitly says that it abides by and promotes Catholic beliefs.

    “abides by and promotes Catholic beliefs”
    You mean like looking the other way while millions of American and European Catholic women use artificial birth control, a practice that is contrary to the doctrinal teaching of The Church?

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