Recently, the Washington Redskins lost their trademark protection because of the racist nature of their logo and name. Many fans of the football team were shocked and outraged, but I don't know why.
Sports teams should not be allowed to have openly racist names (or sexist or homophobic names for that matter). "Braves" and "Indians" may not be racist in and of themselves, but many of the logos, characters and things like the "tomahawk chop" certainly are. The "Redskins" though are beyond the pale.
Just in case anyone missed it, lets review a little history. The United States government came close to a successful genocide against Native Americans. They killed with guns and by deliberately introducing disease (biological / germ warfare), they stole their land and broke treaties anytime it suited the governments purposes. Washington will still violate treaties with native bands when it's convenient to do so. This is an injustice that has never been corrected. No reparations were ever paid and no land was given back. In some ways it is ironically appropriate that the "Redskins" play in the US capital.
The term "Redskins" itself, in addition to being a racial slur was also the name given to "the scalped head of a Native American sold, like a pelt, for cash." So, if we were talking about African Americans it would be like combining "the N Word" with a reference to lynching. It is almost as if the Ku Klux Klan had a football team.
Currently, the NBA is trying to strip Donald Sterling of his ownership of the LA Clippers for racist remarks. Yet, according to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Native Americans should feel honored and should take the racist name as an 'honor'.
In a just world the NFL would go beyond forcing a name change, they would boot the team out of the league and expand the league by a single team elsewhere to make up the difference.
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