Change, but not like this

Decision on Redskins name shouldn't be rendered by government force

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There’s an argument to be made that the Washington Redskins’ name is disparaging to American Indians.

That it is the 80-year-old brand of third most-valuable NFL franchise does not make it less disparaging.

Neither does the fact it was created to honor team coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed Sioux heritage. Nor does the fact that an Associate Press-GfK poll earlier this year showed 83 percent of Americans have no qualms with the name.

It is a name that probably should be changed.

But not at the barrel of a bureaucrat’s gun, which is exactly what this week’s trademark ruling by United States Patent and Trademark Office was – an overreaching use of federal resources to enforce a cause célèbre most Americans didn’t agree with or even knew existed.

The ruling revokes federal protection of the Redskins name, which would allow bootleggers to make money off a brand protected by trademark since 1967. The decision was, of course, meant to hit the Redskins organization in the pocketbook, but it ironically could also have the effect of making the maligned Redskins name more pervasive than it is now – since it would be unprotected by trademark.

Liberal special-interest groups have pressured the privately owned Redskins organization to change its name for years, first under President Clinton’s administration, now under President Obama’s. The federal bureaucracy under the Bush administration, apparently, believed there were more meaningful national and international concerns to contend with.

This week’s Patent Office ruling is essentially a replay of 1999, when the office canceled the Redskins’ trademark on the grounds it “may disparage” individuals or groups. That decision was overruled by a federal court on appeal. The Redskins say they will appeal this ruling as well.

“We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal,” the team said in a statement.

Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder is adamant about keeping the team’s name, telling USA Today last year that he’ll “never change the name. It’s that simple.”

Though most Americans and an overwhelming majority of Redskins fans want to retain the name, the team faces stiff opposition from the ruling elite. The president himself suggested in October the team should “think about changing” its name, and in May, 50 U.S. senators signed a letter asking for a name change.

Why the nation’s leaders are more interested in the name of a sports team than of high poverty and death rates on American Indian reservations is a topic worthy of further exploration.

Regardless, it may be years before the anti-Redskins forces – including the Washington Post columnist who tweeted “Hail to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Hail Victory!” – get to spike the ball in the end zone.

For one, nothing stops the team from using its name or selling its merchandise, even if the Patent Office’s ruling were upheld on appeal. And the Redskins logo still has copyright protection even if the team loses the fight for its name.

The looming threat, of course, is that the trademark ruling was just an opening salvo. What’s next? A Federal Communications Commission ruling that “Redskins” is a derogatory term? Fines levied each time a Redskins games is broadcast? Hate-crime prosecution by the Justice Department?

This government under direction of the Obama administration has found a way to politicize health insurance and your child’s school lunches. What makes you think your Sunday afternoon leisure time is sacred?

None of this is to deny that the Redskins’ name offends certain segments of the American Indian population. Exactly how much we are unsure; a poll of American Indians by the Annenberg Public Policy Center 10 years ago showed 90 percent were not bothered by the name.

But as we previously stated, it’s a name that probably should change.

How and when should be up to the team’s owners, and it should be driven by the same free-market forces that allowed it to exist in the first place.

If a plurality of Americans, including the fans that support the team through ticket and merchandise sales, believed the Redskins name stood for racism, insensitivity and offensiveness, the market would have forced a change long ago.

We can only assume more Americans agree with the late Jack Kent Cooke, the team’s former owner, who said the Redskins’ name stood for “bravery, courage and a stalwart spirit.”

If the brand created in the 1930s and trademarked in the 1960s is no longer tasteful in 2014, the onus to correct it falls upon the people and corporations who support it, not agenda-driven bureaucrats acting on behalf of a handful of aggrieved malcontents.

Comments (37) Add comment
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myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 05:37 am
11
2
"The president himself

"The president himself suggested in October the team should “think about changing” its name,"

Mr. President, don't you have more important things to think about? Maybe YOU, should think about running an accountable, responsible administration? Maybe YOU, should think about not sticking your foot in your mouth; "smidgen" anyone?? There are LOTS of things YOU should think about, changing the Redskins name, is NOT one of them!!

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 05:39 am
11
2
If someone buys an NFL team

If someone buys an NFL team and calls them the Nebraska White-Eyes, I assure you I will NOT be offended. This is absurd and ONE DAY, people are going to get tired of living in this politically correct, tree hugging, panzy liberal world, and they will rebel!!

deestafford
31991
Points
deestafford 06/21/14 - 06:47 am
8
2
No! No! No!

No! No! No! The name should not be changed. Just because there is some activists who are "ooooffffeeeeennnneeedddeed" does not take away the free speech rights of the First Amendment and the taking clause of the Fifth Amendment.

It's high time people take a stand against the political correctness tidal wave that is sweeping the country.

There is no right in The Constitution not to be offended. Just because there are activists who want to take away something that was bestowed on the team to recognize the bravery and strength of the American Indians we should not buckle under to them.

It's time the people take a stand against militant, radical minority activists who continue to press for special treatment. Look at what happens when we try tolerance with the homosexual community...it pushes and pushes for more special treatment even though they are only 3% of the population.

Look at how the rest of us should change our ways to accommodate the Muslims in the country.

This insanity has got to stop and be replaced by common sense...which is a trait lacking in the brains of the left.

gaflyboy
5352
Points
gaflyboy 06/21/14 - 06:51 am
10
0
A team names itself

with something they want to emulate. As the letter states "it was created to honor team coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed Sioux heritage."

According to an article in Slate, the term "redskin" was first and repeatedly used first by Indians as a way to designate themselves from "whiteskins".
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2013/12/18/redskins_the_debate...

I agree with others that the only thing offensive about the name Washington Redskins, is Washington.

ymnbde
10675
Points
ymnbde 06/21/14 - 07:27 am
7
0
call them the washington O'diots

the Raging O'diots or the Fighting O'diots
it isn't a game of cowboys and indians
or hoyas and fighting irish
or rebels with a cause vs rebels without a cause
or rebels with the right cause vs rebels with the wrong cause
why are they so intolerant?
aren't liberals supposed to be accepting of all viewpoints?
especially the ones with which they disagree?
it isn't like cowboys are good and redskins are bad
in this case, the Redskins are good and brave
the Washington Redskins should get punitive damages
but hey... you can get a real team jersey for $100
and make a political statement

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 06/21/14 - 07:32 am
0
0
provide for the common defense, run NFL, run MLB
Unpublished

promote the general welfare, police the entire known world, slaughter the innocent, subsidize and promote ignorance,

Little Old Lady
8937
Points
Little Old Lady 06/21/14 - 07:55 am
6
0
Braves, Vikings

Watch out. The Braves, Vikings, Seminoles etc. will be next. Every name will offend someone.

corgimom
38500
Points
corgimom 06/21/14 - 08:10 am
1
11
myfather, if any President is

myfather, if any President is asked a direct question about something, what would you expect a President to say?

For corn's sake, myfather, it's not his fault that people ask the President stupid questions. And some of those reporters ask the President and First Lady- all of them, not the Obamas- some really stupid questions.

That has been a problem for over 150 years.

jimmymac
47789
Points
jimmymac 06/21/14 - 08:45 am
0
0
HILLBILLIES
Unpublished

I was watching an HGTV show the other day and a black woman looking at a house told her husband to turn off his inner hillbilly. It occurred to me that if HGTV allowed that I wonder what would happen if a white person would have said to their spouse to turn off your inner N........ would they have allowed it on TV? Why the double standard? Why is it OK to call someone a hillbilly and not OK to call someone another derogatory name?

itsanotherday1
48344
Points
itsanotherday1 06/21/14 - 08:48 am
5
0
I've been waiting for someone

I've been waiting for someone to complain about the Braves' Tomahawk Chop.

For crap's sake; when a team takes on a moniker, it is an honor to the group, person, thing, or whatever. It is supposed to illustrate, strength, courage, and honor.

donbarclay
8
Points
donbarclay 06/21/14 - 09:29 am
3
0
Offensive Editorial

If the "R-word" is so offensive and derogatory, why did the editorial writer choose to use it seventeen times in the piece?

corgimom
38500
Points
corgimom 06/21/14 - 10:10 am
0
9
What kills me is that the AC

What kills me is that the AC is against Michelle Obama's push for schools to serve healthy lunches.

Sure, as taxpayers, let's pay for crap food! That makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

You would think that taxpayers would DEMAND that healthy meals be provided by schools, to best utilize their tax dollars.

gaflyboy
5352
Points
gaflyboy 06/21/14 - 10:18 am
6
0
Lady O's healthy lunches?

That's quite a leap from the subject of this article!

Darby
29318
Points
Darby 06/21/14 - 10:20 am
8
0
"It is a name that probably should be changed."

ACES - I stopped reading at that phrase. Don't know what else you had to say and I don't care.

That was just dumb!

Calling George Orwell...!!

cush1944
14598
Points
cush1944 06/21/14 - 12:44 pm
5
0
The liberals that consider

The liberals that consider themselves to be the 'elitists' think they know best. They believe the average 'unwashed' citizen is not smart enough to make their own decisions. Whether it is the name for a football team, healthcare or what the kids have for lunch. The 'elitist' are comical because they are brilliant only in their own mind.

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 12:48 pm
6
0
Corgi

You sure have picked a day to specifically go after each of my comments, haven't you? And once again, you're wrong as usual!!

The President could have said "You know, with everything going on around the world; a footballs teams name is the last thing I'm concerned about." I would have respected him much more for this!!

Fact is, I couldn't care less if they change the name or not; I'm just sick of this government always forcing their way upon the people!! This entire topic is ridiculous!!

Radicals have attack the Braves and Cleveland Indians in the 90's, the Seminoles have received harsh criticism; as have many other college teams. There is no "American Indian" name a team could be named, that wouldn't offend SOMEONE!! This is ridiculous non-sense from losers who find this as their only way to bring attention to themselves. The vast majority of the population couldn't care less if this was ever mentioned again!! Leave it, change it but just shut up about it!!

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 12:52 pm
6
0
Corgimom

"Sure, as taxpayers, let's pay for crap food! That makes perfect sense, doesn't it? "

Of course not!!

You know what does make sense? Buy TONS of food that children WON'T EAT!! Now THAT, makes sense much more than buying crap food!!

But, I suppose since Corgimom and Mrs. O loves apples, oranges, beans, squash, greens, etc; then ALL children should too!! They should be overjoyed to eat such awesome choices!!

burninater
9941
Points
burninater 06/21/14 - 02:51 pm
0
5
"But as we previously stated,

"But as we previously stated, it’s a name that probably should change.

How and when should be up to the team’s owners, and it should be driven by the same free-market forces that allowed it to exist in the first place."
--------
Whu-what?!

The "Redskins" trademark exists for exclusive, monopolistic use by a single entity, under threat of Federally-enforced civil and criminal penalties for any and all competitive use of the moniker in the marketplace.

"Free-market forces"?! Not even close.

TrulyWorried
16524
Points
TrulyWorried 06/21/14 - 02:59 pm
4
0
School lunches

my sentiment exactly, myfather 15 - first thing that came to my mind when I read it. And I raised 6 children.

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 03:43 pm
2
0
Burninator

Obvsiouly (But not surprising) you have no clue about the free market!!

Yes, the FREE MARKET does allow it to exist!! Why? Because if THE PEOPLE want to buy their logo, they CAN. If THE PEOPLE don't agree with it, and want to boycott it, THEY CAN!! If it were such an egregious, offensive logo; I believe the people would force him to change the name. But MOST people understand it's NOT offensive; and we DO NOT need the government forcing private individuals around, just because a FEW are offended.

"under threat of Federally-enforced civil and criminal penalties for any and all competitive use of the moniker in the marketplace."

Who are the federal government? It's suppose to be WE THE PEOPLE!! So, if you want to know if WE THE PEOPLE want the name changed, let them keep the trademark and see how their sales go this year. That's how the "Free market" works!! Government stays out of these type issues and allows the people to voice their approval or disapproval through the free market. If Dan Snyder's profits take a MASSIVE HIT, he would change the name quicker than you can spit!! If he doesn't take a massive hit, it means the people don't think it's such a big issue!! The federal government is NOT in charge of regulating the peoples morals..........at least it isn't suppose to be!!

What about the Braves name? Cleveland Indians? Are they offensive? During the 90's both teams were really good and people DID protest their names!! Funny, how both teams were protested WHILE they were really good teams. Since both have now became mediocre, nothing is said about them. Also, funny is how the Redskins have been awful for years; but all of a sudden they get RGIII and this situation is brought up!! Are these "offended people" offended only by opportunity?? Was the name NOT offensive before RGIII came around?

Man, this sure brings a lot of attention to certain people. You think that might have something to do with it?

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 03:51 pm
4
0
Truly worried

I've got 4 children of my own. I try everything I can to regulate their food; and I encourage healthy eating. I grow my own gardens and LOVE, LOVE veggies and fruits. I grow tomatoes, potatoes, corn, okra, beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, watermelon and canteloupe, just to mention a few.

My favorite of all of those, might just be tomatoes. I absolutely LOVE tomatoes and tomatoes sandwiches. I've tried and tried to get my children to eat tomatoes, but it doesn't work; they can't stand tomatoes.They love cucumbers, potatoes, corn, some beans and green peas; but the rest they won't stomach!!

I'm growing Rutgers, Park's Whoppers, Better Boys, Red Beefsteak, Big Boys, Big Beefs and they won't eat any of them!! I also absolutely love collards and all kinds of greens, but they would puke if you tried to force them to eat it.

I guess THEY, would like us to force feed them!!

cush1944
14598
Points
cush1944 06/21/14 - 03:56 pm
4
0
"my sentiment exactly,

"my sentiment exactly, myfather 15 - first thing that came to my mind when I read it."
Come on guys, how can you possibly know more about what is best for your kids than the liberals do?
I find the liberals somewhat comical but in reality they are actually sad.

burninater
9941
Points
burninater 06/21/14 - 04:01 pm
0
4
No offense myfather, but it

No offense myfather, but it appears you are confused on this issue.

The gov't has NOT outlawed the logo. THE PEOPLE still CAN buy, or boycott, the logo in a free market.

Further, you said --

"That's how the "Free market" works!! Government stays out of these type issues and allows the people to voice their approval or disapproval through the free market."

We clearly have opposite views on what a free market is. The Redskins logo exists as an exclusive property, as a result of gov't threats of criminal and civil penalties for market behavior that infringes on this monopoly. This is NOT a market free of gov't intervention. This is a market where transactions and vendors are strictly regulated by the gov't.

In a free market, there could be a 1000 "Redskins" football teams competing for market share, for which WE THE PEOPLE could decide where to allocate resources. Instead, there is just one, as dictated by gov't regulation. That is not a "free market".

You claim I have "no clue" what a free market is.

Please explain to me how the existence of federally-created monopolies protected by civil and criminal penalties constitute a "free" market.

cush1944
14598
Points
cush1944 06/21/14 - 04:01 pm
3
0
"I guess THEY, would like us

"I guess THEY, would like us to force feed them!!"
myfather, perhaps you are not using the correct approach? I am sure corigmom can advise you on the correct approach.

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 04:07 pm
4
0
Burninator

You've made very good points, and very valid. I understand what you're saying, but we must have trademark and copyright laws, or anyone could use anyone elses name, not giving the same service and cause harm to another. I could open up a restaurant and call it "Pizza Hut" and use thier logo, deceiving people into coming into my restaurant; then provide crapy service and food. People wouldn't know which Pizza Hut to go to and we would have mass confusion.

What I mean is allowing the free market (people) to decide whether something is right or wrong. The people tend to voice their opinions very loudly, with their walets.

Now, having said that; I've got to get off here and enjoy the rest of my weekend. I'll check back in the next couple days. Have a good weekend.

myfather15
56910
Points
myfather15 06/21/14 - 04:08 pm
3
0
Cush

I would LOVE to see that. I've tried everything to get them to eat tomatoes, lol.

burninater
9941
Points
burninater 06/21/14 - 04:12 pm
2
1
Enjoy the weekend, myfather!

Enjoy the weekend, myfather!

cush1944
14598
Points
cush1944 06/21/14 - 04:24 pm
3
0
"You claim I have "no clue"

"You claim I have "no clue" what a free market is."
burn, the problem is the gov't is picking and choosing. If the gov't concealled ALL NFL trademarks that would be free market. The Obama administration PICKED ONE FOR PURE political reasons. That IS NOT the free market. I agree with myfather, "You have "no clue" what a free market is."

allhans
24890
Points
allhans 06/21/14 - 04:26 pm
4
0
A peanut butter-jelly

A peanut butter-jelly sandwich has served us well for years.
When funds are low,,,there it is!!

cush1944
14598
Points
cush1944 06/21/14 - 04:48 pm
4
0
"A peanut butter-jelly

"A peanut butter-jelly sandwich has served us well for years.
When funds are low,,,there it is!!"
That was back when parents were expected to feed them at home. Now the liberals expect the gov't to feed and raise the kids. The libs are taking this country down the drain.

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