The Redskins really need to change their name and House Democrats are on it

posted at 4:11 pm on March 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Simmer down, guys: The political-correctness battle over the Redskins’ team name has been raging since what feels like time immemorial, but Congress is here for you with all the right answers. These Democrats want to wear down the football team’s resistance, war-of-attrition style:

A group of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill that would prevent the term “Redskins” from being trademarked, a move intended to put pressure on the Washington football club to change its name.

The Non-Disparagement of American Indians in Trademark Registrations Act of 2013 is co-sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), and comes days after a federal trademark panel heard arguments over whether the team name was a slur. The panel could potentially overturn the team’s trademark, which would erode profits by allowing other businesses to sell apparel and goods featuring the Redskins name.

Earlier this month, Norton said the team “should consider” a new name.

… But nothing happens without pushing and shoving … I am a fan of the Redskins. I’m just not a fan of their name,” Norton said.

Come on, now. Whichever way you come down on the decades-long conflict over whether or not the Redskins’ mascot amounts to racially offensive disparagement, can we all at least agree that it is definitively not the legislative branch’s job to arbitrate these kinds of disputes? Maybe? This bill is obviously and specifically aimed at a specific body for a specific perceived offense, but why these federal lawmakers think the onus is one them to effectively punish the Redskins for daring to defy them is just not right. I’m pretty sure that’s what we have a court system for, and there is indeed already a case going through the proper channels.

Doesn’t sound like the bill even has a shot of getting off the ground, but hey, maybe these federal lawmakers have a few more high-priority, nationally-focused things they could be worrying about, perhaps?


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Trillions in debt and all the “best and brightest” have time to do is hassle an NFL franchise about their name. No wonder the country is in such a downward spiral, with so called “leaders” like this, who needs an enemy?

Chief Illini LIVES!!!

djtnt on March 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

I have a bunch of Indian* friends who were all Redskins fans before the Cardinals moved into town.

*They call themselves Indians.
Native American includes anyone who was born here.
Aboriginal Americans is probably the best description.

itsnotaboutme on March 21, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Q: Why don’t the Redskins change their name to “Idiots”? , A: Because then everyone will think Congress is playing NFL football.

Marxism is for dummies on March 21, 2013 at 6:13 PM

This bill is illegal and the courts should throw it out.

Article 1 Section 9:

Congress shall pass no bills of attainder

Vegi on March 21, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Y.A. Tittle…isn’t he the guy in the famous photo who’s kneeling with blood running down his face?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Yes, he is … as a Giant near the end of his career. Most of the time he was a 49er.

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Elizabeth Warren hardest hit.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Now that’s Heap Funny.

Del Dolemonte on March 21, 2013 at 6:37 PM

My vote is cast for Washington Deadskins. Haven’t won shyt for decades.

DevilsPrinciple on March 21, 2013 at 6:46 PM

And here I thought Redskins referred to Red as in commies not as in our native American tribe.

jazzuscounty on March 21, 2013 at 6:56 PM

How about Washington Abortions? Dems would love it.

fogw on March 21, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Two comments.

First, I remember the NYT grandly announcing, I believe in the 80′s, that is would henceforth refer to the ‘Skins as “the team from Washington”. Apparently shunning by those grandees did not have the desired affect.

Second, don’t these idiots have anything important to do? Well, I realize a moron like Holmes-Norton probably doesn’t, after all, her position is even less of a real job than that of her housemates, but how about the others? No economic items to consider? Budgetary measures? Or have they all been crowded out by this nonsense?

Fire them all but let’s start with Holmes-Norton,a person who has never held a job outside of government.

Hucklebuck on March 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

In addition to the Article 1 issue already noted, this also smacks of a taking of property without compensation.

Congress has the authority to create law to protect trademarks. It has done so. To single out one mark – that clearly has value and has existed for years and – force it into the public domain without compensation seems to run afoul of the Constitution.

But I suspect Dan Snyder has already figured this angle out.

EdmundBurke247 on March 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Come on, now. Whichever way you come down on the decades-long conflict over whether or not the Redskins’ mascot amounts to racially offensive disparagement, can we all at least agree that it is definitively not the legislative branch’s job to arbitrate these kinds of disputes?

The Democrats’ totalitarian mindset on display as usual. Leave us alone! Leave the NFL alone!

TarheelBen on March 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

How about the Washington Reds…

Or the Washington Comrades…

Maybe the Washington Marxists…

You know, in honor of our fearless leader.

NavyMustang on March 21, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Trillions in debt and all the “best and brightest” have time to do is hassle an NFL franchise about their name. No wonder the country is in such a downward spiral, with so called “leaders” like this, who needs an enemy?

Chief Illini LIVES!!!

djtnt on March 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Then again, if they are focusing on this stuff, they aren’t focused on other stuff…like gun control, nannying the diets of Americans, deciding what are toilets should be doing, defining mandatory “be nice to one another” legislation, etc.

Maybe we just should declare a moratorium on new legislation for a 5 year period.

in_awe on March 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

As a lifelong Redskins fan, I am really getting tired of this crap. Redskins is not a racial slur and is not derogatory. If it was, why would any team want to be called that? More than 75 high schools use the name Redskins as do hundreds of kids football teams. The Redskins name and image represents a proud and brave warrior. The PC “Native Americans” find that representation offensive.
I hate to break it to them but they don’t have ownership of our shared history.

If not for the Redskins and other sports teams that use the name and image of the American indian, kids today would have no idea that they were once a proud and brave people who fought to save their land and their freedom. Instead, they would know them as government dependent, alcohol and drug addicted gamblers. Yeah, that is a much better image.

The Redskins celebrated *their 80th year in 2012. So leave them the H–l alone!

Hail To The Redskins!

fight like a girl on March 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Name them the Washington Politically Corrects.

hepcat on March 21, 2013 at 8:40 PM

NO and HELL NO!

Delsa on March 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Name them the Washington White Skins. No white people will complain.

birdwatcher on March 21, 2013 at 9:11 PM

The Washington Aboriginals!
The Washington Hunter Gatherers!
The Washington Primitives!
The Washington Georges!
The Washington Marion Barrys!
(Good luck for comebacks,see?)

Sherman1864 on March 22, 2013 at 1:35 AM

…Washington Warrens!

KOOLAID2 on March 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Washington Cheekbones.

James on March 22, 2013 at 2:27 AM

Name them the Washington Politically Corrects.

hepcat on March 21, 2013 at 8:40 PM

That’s it! The DC, PC’s

Don L on March 22, 2013 at 2:59 AM

I really like the Washington Thinskins.

But how about the Washington Spear Chuckers? The DC Chuckers for short

papertiger on March 22, 2013 at 6:16 AM

Come on, now. Whichever way you come down on the decades-long conflict over whether or not the Redskins’ mascot amounts to racially offensive disparagement,…

Cleveland Indians… Boston Celtics… Kansas City Chiefs… Notre Dame Fighting Irish… Illinois Fighting Illini… and so on and so forth. Are these also “racially offensive” disparagements?

Political correctness is insane.

The petty self-righteous finger-wagging busy-body church-lady biddies of the past have been replaced in our time by packs of politically correct liberals.

farsighted on March 22, 2013 at 6:33 AM

farsighted on March 22, 2013 at 6:33 AM

Right on!

fight like a girl on March 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM

The Boston Redskins (now the Washington Redskins) and the Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves) were both named after the WHITE MEN who disguised themselves as Injuns and threw tea overboard in Boston Hahbah on Dec. 16, 1773.

Akzed on March 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM

The only renaming I would settle for is the Washington Godless Savages. It relates better to their present environment.

Akzed on March 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

The craziest thing about this is how this ass in Congress wants to do this. She basically wants to prevent them from privately and legally making money.

But when an effort to defund planned parenthood of government dollars arises? Nope.

Redskins making money legally bad. Making money by killing babies good.

Further proof liberals really don’t care about the economy, which I believe stems from their disdain for human life (unless it fits their agenda).

Gatekeeper on March 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I vote for the, Washington Tomahawk Scalpers

@AsalamaTweetum

Opinionnation on March 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

How about the Washington Jackasses then they will be a true representative of both politicians that stink up that city and the moronic citizens that keep voting for them.

bbinfl on March 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Don’t fall for the miss direction here. It is not the term “RED SKINS” that is a fault here but the view of others. There is not nor ever has bee a race of people known as the “RED SKINS”. If in the warped mind sets of Congress this is meant to refer to all Native Americans collectively, then the team is excellent highly competent and well respected. Why are these notions offensive?

It is just another poor example of miss direction by a Congress that Can not:
1. Pass a budget.
2. Tell us the through about Fast and Furious.
3. Tell us the truth about Benghazi.
4. Cut costs.
5. Get free hair cuts.
6. Take responsibility for any thing.
7. Hold any one responsible for any thing.

Can they ever do a great job at arguing about the name of a football team.

jpcpt03 on March 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

My ancestors come from Krakatau, Poland. I find it very offensive when the Congress refers to the “Poles say that”. I am upset that they always blindly blame us for everything.

jpcpt03 on March 22, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Washington Weasels
Washington Red-tapes
Washington (Robber) Barons
Washington Extortionists

TMOverbeck on March 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

jpc: Not to mention all the bigotry towards Czechs. Always talking about “Blank Czechs” and wanting to “cut Czechs” all the time. :P

TMOverbeck on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Then there are the bars in Washington that feature the Dancing Poles.

jpcpt03 on March 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM

The point is that it is not the words, it is that Congress is trying to miss direct the Public away from what is important. Their job.

jpcpt03 on March 22, 2013 at 12:26 PM

How about the Washington Warrens???

ToddPA on March 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I have practiced a fair amount in trademark law, and my observations are, first, the obvious one that has already been pointed out, which is that this would be an ex post facto law as applied to the Skins, who already have a registered trademark. On the face of it, I would say that Congress ought to have the ability to prevent registration of “racially offensive” marks; indeed, one could make the argument under present law. There may be a problem, however, in the disparate application of such a law to new applicants v. existing registrants that undercuts the whole ex post facto thing, but that’s a little beyond my expertise.

Second, federal trademark registration is but one aspect of trademark law. Even without it, pretty much everyone has state-based common law rights in a trademark just by using it. It is not the case that the Skins would need to stop using it, or could no longer prevent others from doing so, if the registration were cancelled. The damage would reside in the uncertainty over whether the mark could be adequately protected in 50 state courts. Assuming the retroactive success of the proposed federal law, I would expect the activists to start filing a barrage of lawsuits immediately to argue that “racially offensive” marks should not be afforded protection under state law.

Even then, they would still be able to use it – see U.S. Const. amend. I. Only, they lose the ability to stop others, and by then there’ll be such a drumbeat of bad press around the whole thing that they will most likely throw in the towel.

Xasprtr on March 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Me:

Even then, they would still be able to use it – see U.S. Const. amend. I.

In the scenario I described, the weight of law and opinion accumulated by the end of such a process (lost challenge to law in federal court, cancellation of federal registration, multiple losses in state courts, opinion shaping drumbeat) would in my mind open the door to a “first amendment limitations-obscene content-time and place-crowded theater” type argument as to why the name must be changed.

Xasprtr on March 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Redskins making money legally bad. Making money by killing babies good.

Gatekeeper on March 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

The thing is that second sentence isn’t even right. It should be: “Making money by taking it from the taxpayers, then using it to subsidize killing babies.”

GWB on March 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

GWB on March 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I stand corrected

Gatekeeper on March 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

The Welfare Queens?
The Deficits?
The Debits
The Hypocrites
The Washington Monuments

Can’t be called Patriots

flataffect on March 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Akzed on March 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Source?

Capitalist Hog on March 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Capitalist Hog on March 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

A little digging brings up that the baseball team appears to have acquired an Indian name because the owner at the time (they went through a lot of names during some losing years) was a member of Tammany Hall, which had an Indian chief logo (it was named for an Indian chief). The Redskins started as the Braves, also, since they shared a stadium. They changed the name when they changed stadiums, evidently.

So, I don’t know where Akzed got his information, but it doesn’t appear to be so. It makes a lot of sense, though – so it’s certainly easy to believe.

GWB on March 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I’m all for a name change. How about The Washington Cavalry?

kd6rxl on March 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

How about legislation saying no trivial bills such as this can be brought to the floor until a balanced budget is passed?

OK, how about no trivial bills until any budget is passed?

talkingpoints on March 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Washington CrackBerry’s

tbear44 on March 23, 2013 at 6:49 AM

The owner should move the team to LA. Los Angeles Redskins sounds good.

Old eagle on March 23, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Mandate it. If it’s good enough for the rest of the country then make these blood sucking parasites change their name also. It sure will do a lot less damage that what they did to U of North Dakota.

A good replacement name would be the Sea Lampreys. DC adds nothing to the country and sucks an enormous amount of resources. In the end the host ends up dying. Sounds like a perfectly apt name for this city.

Sorry if I offened any Sea Lampreys.

acyl72 on March 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Washington Comrades.

lorien1973 on March 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Maybe change the name to the Obama Knights and have a picture of jack@ss on the side of the helmet. :)

tims1chap on March 25, 2013 at 5:49 AM

of course they are, because there’s NOTHING more important that needs to be solved, idiots.

mmcnamer1 on March 25, 2013 at 7:02 AM

The Redskins really need to change their name and House Democrats are on it

.

of course they are, because there’s NOTHING more important that needs to be solved, idiots.

mmcnamer1 on March 25, 2013 at 7:02 AM

.
DON’T SAY THAT ….. are you even aware how much sleep I’ve lost over this?

Thank GOD … someones finally going to take care of this catastrophic, top-priority matter.
.
(okay, there might have been a little sarcasm there)

listens2glenn on March 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

How about the Washington foreSkins. But I don’t want to think about the team logo.

bob4096 on March 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

My vote is for the Washington Redskinned Savages.

woodNfish on March 25, 2013 at 3:53 PM

So, I don’t know where Akzed got his information, but it doesn’t appear to be so. It makes a lot of sense, though – so it’s certainly easy to believe. GWB on March 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I thought it was common knowledge, search under -washington redskins boston tea party- and see for yourself. There are one or two other theories, but this one rings truest.

Akzed on March 25, 2013 at 4:37 PM

How about … The Washington Pork Barrels.

kregg on March 25, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Comment pages: 1 2