SPORTSDOC-- On the warpath: It's time to banish 'Redskins'

The Inuits are rumoured to have a hundred words for snow.

Here on the mainland we have at least that many words for "Holy crap, I didn't say that." If someone in the media or politics even brushes up against "racially sensitive" (formerly known as "racist"– too offensive) dialogue, he or she immediately repudiates it, not to mention rejects, renounces, and whatever other synonym applies.

It's a pretty effective smokescreen for ignoring real issues.

Case in point: who's not aware of the recent New Yorker satirizing Barack Obama as a Muslim terrorist? It's been repudiated from sea to shining sea. Portraying anyone as a terrorist, even ironically, is unacceptable. It's easy to repudiate.

Besides, there's no money in it.

At the same time Obama and the mainstream media scrambled to preempt a Muslim backlash, a federal judge ruled that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board failed to gather enough evidence to prove the Washington Redskins' logos are offensive.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly referred to her 2003 ruling that cited the "economic hardship" the Redskins would face if the marks were canceled. Since then, the plaintiffs haven't been able to disprove the team's claim that it would lose a lot of revenue if thy lose the trademarks.

There's no way the team wouldn't lose a ton of money if they had to change trademarks, but since when does money render a racial epithet an inoffensive tribute?

Since 1967, I guess. That's when the first "Redskins" trademark was registered. The judge ruled that action should have been taken then, not in the 1980s when the lawsuit was initiated. I guess it doesn't matter that the plaintiff, Mateo Romero, a Conchiti Pueblo from New Mexico, was one year old in 1967.

I guess it doesn't matter that in the 1960s Native Americans were battling the Indian Health Service's policy of forced sterilization. Or that Congress was still forcibly relocating Indians from reservations to cities. Or that only a handful of tribes were federally recognized with little to no legal standing in U.S. courts.

Can you imagine a Native American battling the NFL in 1967? In 1974? In 1989? Can you imagine a tribe with no water, no land, and no money mounting a successful lawsuit against the Washington Redskins?

Even today, when several tribes have managed to make money, can you imagine they should direct it from scholarship or medical programs to prove the term "Redskin" is offensive?

How, when we are so practiced at repudiating, can anyone justify the Washington Redskins?

Most people think the term "Redskin" originated from Native American skin color. While that's the most common understanding of the etymology of the word, some sources claim that frontiersmen and others earned a bounty for every Native American they skinned. "Redskin" might be considered a ghastly product name as well as a slur.

And even if "Redskin" were only a slur, is that less offensive than a term for human pelts? Would the Washington Dirt-Worshippers be okay? What about the Cleveland Featherheads? The Atlanta Hatchet-Packers?

Do you think Judge Kollar-Kotelly would have been so quick to cite revenue if the team were the Washington Jemimas?

Of course not.

The only reason Judge K-K can get away with her decision is that she doesn't see Native Americans at the grocery store or the dry cleaner. She doesn't have to answer to them and neither do the Washington Redskins. I doubt Native dollars account for much of their profits. The government's termination of "terminate and relocation" did the trick: Americans don't have to look at the poor Indians anymore.

No other Americans have to carry a government issued card proving their race. No other Americans get their water from a community pump. No other Americans have to abide the bastardization of their image and culture on jerseys and caps they can't afford to buy.

As long as Native Americans aren't on equal footing with the rest of America, "Redskins" are going to be plastered on t-shirts and Fatheads. It's too bad there weren't any turbans around when we were making headdresses.



They are not forced to carry ID's in there pocket. That card has benefits. It is apparent that you care for the "Native American", but why is it that you write a article only listing the bad of what the "Native Americans" have? There is plenty of good. If people would only learn from the past and not live in the past this world would be a much better place. You can not move forward if your constantly looking backwards. By the way, just a quick note I have a close friend of mine that is only one quarter "Native American", she receives a check on a regular basis only because she is that one quarter "Native American" not for any work or services that she has performed. She just knows that she gets a check for being a "Native American". There are many things that are being done for the "Native American". Could there be more? I'm sure there could, but I don't think spending the amount of money that has been spent to simply get a name change is validated when it could have been spent on more worthy causes within the "Native American" community.

Yeah, we need a card to say we are Indian. There are benefits, provisions from treaty, and some are lucky enough to get casino revenue. Ask your friend a little bit more about her heritage and how she feels about "red-skins" if she isnt too embarrassed about her heritage, maybe she might share. We can not move on while there is a history that needs to be brought into the light. Why would u Albert, be so afraid learning where benefits come from, of allowing history to be told (truthfull)and letting people heal. Ignoring that is what will keep hurting just like sports logos

Are you so stupid that you cannot see that the Players are proud to be "REDSKINS" honoring the gallant battles fought in defense of their people?

Just because one person is offended does not give as judge the right to violate the constituions guarantee of free speech.

If someone calls him a redskin he can take offense otherwise STFU and deal with real issues affecting indians like alcoholism and poverty.

Alcoholiism and proverty and culturual distruction and humiliation are "gifts" from a so-called superior culture. The elimination of the Native American has been a government goal fo decades. The hard heartedness, mean spiritness and ignorance of some of the comments bring grief to my red heart.
By the way, why not start a new team called the Black Skins or Yellow Skins or White Skins

The person who referred to the woman who is 1/4 Indian and receiving a check {just because she is Indian and not from any work that she has performed" is just another in a long line of individuals who don't understand why the Indian woman receives the check. It is because of the
Treaty. The Indians GAVE UP LAND per the terms of the Treaty with the U.S. and in return THEY RECIEVE MONEY FOR SAID LAND!!!!!!
The Treaty is in-fact a LAND DEAL!
And YOU STFU until you have done the research and know what you are talking about !!!!!

I'm sure the Redskins organization educates all their players in Native American history. Right. The players don't care about honoring anybody; they care about their paychecks. I've been watching pro ball all my life and I've never once heard a Redskin player talk about how proud he was to honor gallant battles.

There's a big difference between freedom of speech and outright racism. At any rate, if the Redskins are so in tune with Indian history, they should know their trademark is offensive and demeaning.

Try making a mascot out of black people and see what happens. You think that wouldn't be a real issue?

The term redskin was used for the bloody red scalps taken from dead first peoples for payment from the govt. This term needs to go. The govt of this country can't even seem to offer an apology unlike Canada. This whole get over it thing needs to go to. Lest history repeats itself. Look at the christians that spend every day bemoaning the loss of Jesus Christ. Our govt never will pay back the land stolen and the lives lost. Is it that big of a deal to change the name of a football team?

I am trying to connect what Orv siad with the topic and theme but seem to be lost. Orv said," Look at the christians that spend every day bemoaning the lossof Jesus Christ." I can't understand the statement let alone connect it.

Due to government policy many First Nations people (NDN)denied who they were, or as in Virginia, were denied being who they were. It wasn't until about 1973 that pride in native heritage began to re-emerge. Euro-Americans had spent nearly 500 years trying to "kill the indian to save the man." Racism still exists. Denial doesn't make it go away. The first part of Orv's statement is absolutely true - scalping was a European invention. The Washington team's name IS OFFENSIVE. Lawsuits have been filed for many years - this AIN'T NEW! This is not just about one or two people. Offensive behavior pervades sports (look at Atlanta's "chop.") The NCAA has finally taken steps to right this. It is time the NFL, National League and others do the same.