University of Minnesota attempts to ban mention of Redskins for Nov 2nd game

posted at 3:21 pm on August 7, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Why does this matter? Thanks to the Minnesota legislature, the state is currently building the Minnesota Vikings a new football stadium in Minneapolis, so the Vikes have to play their home games at the University of Minnesota’s nearby football stadium. That means that the NFL is a guest at the Golden Gophers’ home field, and UMinn wants their guests to play by their rules:

The University of Minnesota is working with the Minnesota Vikings in an effort to keep the Washington Redskins’ name from being used in “promotional and game date materials” during the NFL teams’ Nov. 2 game at the school’s stadium in Minneapolis, according to an Aug. 1 letter from university President Eric W. Kaler to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).

It is unclear to what degree the Vikings are collaborating in this process.

Kaler was responding to a June letter from McCollum to Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf — to which the university president was copied — urging the owner to condemn the Redskins’ team name. McCollum argued that Wilf needed to take a stand against “that hateful slur” because all of the NFL teams split the sales of their licensed merchandise equally.

McCollum’s letter came after the Patent and Trademark Office ruling that essentially put the Redskins name in the public domain. According to the Post (also carried by the Star Tribune in today’s edition), McCollum warned Kaler that mentioning the Redskins name would violate UMinn policies:

McCollum alleged that the Redskins’ presence at the university’s stadium would violate the institution’s Board of Regents’ policy on affirmative action, diversity and equal opportunity. She also noted that the stadium was built with funding from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux.

It was unclear whether the university decided to take its own actions based on McCollum’s encouragement. The university is hosting all of the Vikings’ home games while the NFL team awaits the construction of its new stadium. The Associated Press has reported that the Vikings will pay the university $250,000 for every game.

That may be a problem for the university. Does the contract with the Vikings and/or the NFL specify how the teams have to be identified? If so, then UMinn won’t have much wiggle room — and it’s a little difficult to believe that the league doesn’t have that kind of language in its contracts. If UMinn signed a contract containing language that addresses that issue, then they have no choice but to comply.

The response from Kaler seems to suggest that’s the case, too, by informing McCallum that they’re working with Wilf and his team on the controversy. That implies that they’re looking for the Vikings to give them some leeway to impose the ban. Will they? The Twin Cities environment is definitely progressive/academic, and now that the issue has been raised, the Vikings have to know that they’ll get a lot of flack over their visiting team in the week leading up to the game.

NBC’s Mike Florio thinks that the team may be taking this request seriously — and demonstrates the discomfort other owners might be feeling over the controversy:

Vikings executive V.P. of public affairs Lester Bagley said that the team is still deciding how it will handle the university’s request that the Vikings avoid using the name, and that a meeting on the issue occurred in late July.

“We take the issue very seriously, but we’re just getting ready for our season and we’ve been very focused on training camp and the preseason, and to be honest, we don’t have a game plan for our Nov. 2 game versus Washington,” Bagley told thePost.

The fact that Bagley said anything other than “Why in the hell wouldn’t we mention the name of the team we’re playing?” shows that, despite whatever support Snyder may be getting privately, other owners aren’t willing to publicly co-sign the team’s position that anyone who has a concern about the name is wrong, unreasonable, and/or trolling for clicks.

I’m agnostic on the whole naming controversy; both sides have good arguments. It’s up to the owner of the team and the league to decide how much cost they want to incur over the name, and to consumers whether they want to participate or protest the status quo. This is, however, another reason why public funds should not be used to build sports arenas for privately-owned pro sports teams that rake in billions on their own. If Wilf built his own stadium, the issue would never have been more than academic, but now he’s at least potentially at the mercy of Academia. I wonder what else UMinn might demand from the team in the future to host games on their campus …


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Vikings raped, ransacked and pillaged. To have them depict the Scandinavian people is truly a slur. The NFL Minnesota football team needs to change it’s name NOW! How insensitive!

fight like a girl on August 7, 2014 at 6:14 PM

You call out that wonderful commenter, who makes strong points, as “insane”, but you are ho-hum about the politically correct speech police trying to smear people as “racist bigots” for using certain words they don’t like.

PolAgnostic is absolutely right. It’s interesting how RINO’s have no problem going after conservatives, but they often tread lightly when taking positions that might upset their liberal friends. The RINO’s love nothing more than to be seen by liberals as “the reasonable republicans” after all.

bluegill on August 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Ed said the comment was insane, not the commenter. And, though I too disagree with Ed’s ‘both sides make good arguments’ opinion, the comment was out there. This has nothing to do with the GOP establishment, RINOs, or anything of the sort, and believing it does is utterly bizarre.

changer1701 on August 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

“Redskins” is NOT a racial slur.

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

“Redskins” is NOT a racial slur.

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

No more than calling someone black or white – the skin part is just implied.

dentarthurdent on August 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

. . . . . I’m agnostic on the whole naming controversy; both sides have good arguments. It’s up to the owner of the team and the league to decide how much cost they want to incur over the name, and to consumers whether they want to participate or protest the status quo . . . . .

Ed Morrissey on August 7, 2014 at 3:21 PM

.
Your hypocrisy in one neat paragraph …

An agnostic would NOT put forth the presumptive argument “decide how much cost they want to incur over the name” because he makes no judgment pro or con on the agnostic position.

Semantically, the case can be made an agnostic would be inferred to believe the whole “argument” is not worthy of notice or discussion.

Your just a GOPe shill – parroting the KneePad Media Narrative so as not to offend the sensibilities of your GOPe Masters.

PolAgnostic on August 7, 2014 at 3:29 PM
.

That may literally be the most insane comment we’ll get today. Denying that there are costs to bad publicity is akin to stating that the Earth is flat. Being agnostic on whether the Redskins keep their name is just that; I don’t have an opinion on it. I’m not a fan of their team, and what they call it makes no difference to me. The shrieking hysteria over the name, especially in my backyard, does interest me, and some of that is on both sides of the issue, as you amply demonstrate. How that relates to being a part of the “kneepad media” for the GOP establishment is beyond me, since this has nothing to do with Republican politics or electoral politics at all.

Ed Morrissey on August 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

.
The current GOPe is THE most ineffectual political organization I have come across in my lifetime.

The GOP Leadership USED TO point out the MSM (KneePad Media) Narrative was blatantly biased against everyone and everything holding a political viewpoint “right of center”.

And then they stopped fighting it. As did the “right of center” media. Maybe they all got tired … or lazy … or whatever … but you can note the occurrence as more and more people in polls started voicing the opinion the “Media is biased in favor of the left of center ideas”.

The GOPe not only does NOT fight the Narrative – all they do anymore is defensively respond to EVERY SINGLE ASININE VIEWPOINT put forward by the Narrative.

Like hostages with Stockholm Syndrome, the GOPe and the GOPe-media have decided “it is better to go along with what the hostage takers say is the truth” … than to even wonder HOW they ended up being hostages.

No adult I know of cares in the least what name the team in Washington. D.C. goes by … especially when the world is coming apart more and more each day.

But YOU care … and EVERYTHING in your article was based on the KneePad Media Narrative’s definition of the story.

And when the MOST IDIOTIC article on Hot Air today is phrased in essentially the same terms the WaPo would use if they wrote it …

… this has nothing EVERYTHING to do with Republican politics or AND electoral politics. at all.

Because YOU and the other editors don’t even realize your “hostage” behavior, though many of us have tried pointing it out in a wide variety of ways on the bulk of your political articles these days.

PolAgnostic on August 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

.
Wow.

I disagree with Ed that “… both sides have good arguments”.

But what positive, benefit/outcome/result was gained by your comments, PolAg ?

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 6:51 PM

But what positive, benefit/outcome/result was gained by your comments, PolAg ?
listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Telling the truth is benefit enough.

bluegill on August 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Immediately threaten to move the game elsewhere…the University will realize they will not be paid, and their attitude will change considerably…Today’s universities, while ostensibly liberal, still respect the almighty dollar…

Entrephil on August 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

How many years have the Redskins been in business? Funny to see so many people over 20 years just figuring it out now. Oh I forgot…band wagon. Gee people you’re soooo cool.

CW on August 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Maybe if they change the name to Washington Halfbreeds Barry will be happy.

Sven on August 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Wow.

I disagree with Ed that “… both sides have good arguments”.

But what positive, benefit/outcome/result was gained by your comments, PolAg ?

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 6:51 PM

.
I have been among the most vocal challengers to Ed and the other Hot Air editors when their content is GOPe talking points (GOPe – the bulk of the Republican Party now operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Chamber of Commerce and the GOP Donor Class that funds it to further their non-conservative agenda)

I have also challenged their ever growing habit of presenting articles so perfectly aligned with the MSM (KneePad Media) Narrative that they accept as a starting point the point of view put forward in the liberal Narrative.

What positive, benefit/outcome/result was gained?

This answer has two parts:

With my last response to Ed, I has hoping to shake him out of his complacency and defensiveness in the hope he will sit back, reflect, talk to people outside of the media/Salem/politics circles and realize the easiest way to lose your values is to be complicit in changing your point of view to “align” it with the “consensus” so it can be “better heard”.

Will ED or any of the others “wake up” and realize THEY are becoming as out of touch as the politicians in D.C.?

I truly don’t know.

Second part:

The reason I joined Hot Air is because it was the ONLY place I found in the blogosphere that had regular commenters who were very intelligent, disciplined (i.e. posting links to support positions and/or inform others) and just plain folks you would find interesting to talk to if you had the chance.

As someone who just read here for years, I have a deep sense that the commenters on THIS site influence many, many readers looking for answers/insights.

Those folks don’t have a voice – mostly of their own choosing but as some of the newbies point out – this is place to bring your “A” game if you plan on saying anything of substance – so many find US intimidating.

Those of us who have been here for years have kicked around MANY times the change in tone and outlook from the Hot Air editors.

Hot Air becoming just another place where the GOPe agenda and the KneePad Media Narrative gets put forward?

Nope! I will NOT stand by and suffer the defeat of American values by cautious men/women who have come to value THEIR access to the politicians and the MSM power brokers over calling out the unending manure being shoveled on the American public these days.

There is a quote that is dead on accurate from the extremely liberal movie, “The American President”

America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship.

You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight.

It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’

.
It may get me ban hammered one of these days but the politically correct, “we-all-say-the-same-thing-the same-way-or-else-we-cast-you-out” suppression of free speech perfected by the Obama administration * and now copied by the GOPe is something Goebbels. not Jefferson, was trying to achieve.

* – complete control of what the media puts out was something I helped with in another life back when Obama was a “community organizer” being laughed at by the community he was supposedly organizing.

PolAgnostic on August 7, 2014 at 8:01 PM

It may get me ban hammered one of these days but the politically correct, “we-all-say-the-same-thing-the same-way-or-else-we-cast-you-out” suppression of free speech perfected by the Obama administration * and now copied by the GOPe is something Goebbels. not Jefferson, was trying to achieve.
* – complete control of what the media puts out was something I helped with in another life back when Obama was a “community organizer” being laughed at by the community he was supposedly organizing.
PolAgnostic on August 7, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Your posts are awesome. Don’t worry about a thing. Many people here are apologists for the bloggers and hate to see people criticize them.

bluegill on August 7, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Last I checked nobody has the right not to be offended. They are going after Redskins now…. what’s next? I could form a group that can and would be offended by almost any word, and we would be backed by reason and logic.

Pelosi delende est on August 7, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Hilarious reminder of what a pathetic bunch of bedwetting douchebags occupy the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area.

Waahhhh….waaaahhhh…you said “Redskins” (for the eight millionth time since 1933).

Heh. I hope the Minnesota Pansies decide for forfeit the game as a principled stand against racism, which, incidentally, native Americans (i.e., “Indians) reject by something like 9-1:

Support for continued use of the name has come from the team’s owners and a majority of fans, which include some Native Americans. They say that the name honors the achievements and virtues of Native Americans, and that it is not intended in a negative manner. Supporters also assert that a majority of Native Americans themselves are not offended, based upon a public opinion poll in 2004 in which 90% of those who identified as American Indians answered that they were “not bothered” by the name “Redskins” being used for the Washington football team. Some, such as team president Bruce Allen, also point to the use of Redskins by three high school teams, two on reservations, that have a majority of Native American students.

You and I, we know the truth about the bedwetters and this protest — it all comes from a bunch of white liberal college students the their dupes in the Democrat party.

Jaibones on August 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM

I suggest that Snyder take a bold and — dare I say it — progressive stance on this difficult challenge. He should propose to acquiesce to the demands of the pansies by agreeing not to promote the game as the “Redskins” if and only if the Minnesota franchise and the University of Minnesota play the game in pink uniforms adorned with the name Minnesota Bedwetters.

Jaibones on August 7, 2014 at 9:06 PM

At a university, people are supposed to learn to question and investigate. If they would just investigate whether Redskin is a slur, they would discover that it isn’t.

America just seem to get stupider every year. The stupidity has reached critical mass on this issue. I’m not optimistic.

Pythagoras on August 7, 2014 at 10:10 PM

PolAgnostic on August 7, 2014 at 8:01 PM

.
Okay, that was said with great ‘sobriety’, and I thank you for it.

Your comments at 3:29 PM, and 4:32 PM didn’t come-off as quite so “sober”.
.
It hit me like you were “triple-dog-daring” him to BAN you.

I remember when MadisonConservative was banned, over saying something very insulting to Ed.

MadisonConservative and I were having a back’n’forth chit chat, when he said something to Ed on another thread.

We never did finish our chat … : (

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Okay, that was said with great ‘sobriety’, and I thank you for it.

Your comments at 3:29 PM, and 4:32 PM didn’t come-off as quite so “sober”.
.
It hit me like you were “triple-dog-daring” him to BAN you.

I remember when MadisonConservative was banned, over saying something very insulting to Ed.

MadisonConservative and I were having a back’n’forth chit chat, when he said something to Ed on another thread.

We never did finish our chat … : (

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 11:29 PM

.
Thank you for providing the opportunity to make my point clearer.

The other trend I am perceiving on the part of the editors on here is making flatly contradictory statements while denying they are saying anything contradictory …

… which strikes me as VERY reminiscent of some of the most outlandish LIBERAL trolling on here – or like almost any article on Salon or HuffPo.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm. (Ever notice NONE of the liberal trolls ever get worked up over what the editor has posted?)

When a troll does that on here, a piranha-like feeding frenzy occurs. I just ignore them because I view them as being attention seeking, intellectually dishonest individuals who do not engage in adult conversations.

Ed, for my money, was being semantically hypocritical in his article and his reply to my post – as well as intentionally misrepresenting what I was saying – though based on your comments, I may not have made myself perfectly clear either.

:/

A fair number of people who comment on here have a problem with my responses to the editors – feel it’s the editors’ site and deference is owed.

Strangely enough, many of the same people discuss taking editors and commenters on other sites to task for perceived sins.

If Hot Air/Salem wants “reverence” regardless of editorial content … they can disable comments.

For my money, that would be the height of business stupidity because they have A LOT of additional “content” provided free of charge by the commenters.

One other reason I hold forth so strongly on here – BAD TIMES are coming. My wife and I came through the ’60′s & ’70′s which were, as the Chinese curse alludes to, “interesting times”.

What is coming down the pike is going to make those literally “the good old days”.

If something we comment on here helps somebody else find their way through the chaos … then its worth the time and effort to try to offset the Narrative.

PolAgnostic on August 8, 2014 at 12:30 AM

It’s really disappointing to hear that Ed thinks both sides on this issue have good arguments. In fact, only side does, and that’s the Redskins. I’m not going to belabor all the canards the name-change proponents have thrown about to basically shame others into bowing to their position. Suffice it to say that if more than 90% of Native Americans (per that Annenberg Poll) don’t believe the name is offensive, why should the other side — who consist mostly of white folks, the overwhelming majority of which are those who yearn to be perpetually offended — care at all?

Mike Florio is a really big joke when it comes to this issue. He falls all over himself by cherry-picking every possible story supporting those clamoring for a name change. In doing so, he can’t respond to some of the fundamental flaws in his position, that Annenberg Poll constituting the most glaring of those flaws. For instance, Florio loves pointing out things like how the dictionary defines the name ‘Redskins’ as offensive. Ok, let’s assume that the name ‘Redskins’ is offensive. Well, so is the term ‘Negro.’ Yet, it’s celebrated as part of the culturally iconic institution ‘United NEGRO College Fund.’ This little example illustrates an important point: while a word like Redskins or Negro can be offensive in just about every other context it’s used in, when used in connection with the name of an entity like ‘Washington Redskins’ or ‘United Negro College Fund’ (or the ‘National Association For The Advancement Of COLORED People’), it clearly is not. Indeed, the issue isn’t whether those terms standing alone are offensive, it’s whether a proper noun such as those just mentioned are. Viewed in that context, you’d clearly be as foolish as Florio to argue that it is.

And one has to really ask how much Florio really thinks the term is offensive. To be sure, he refuses to use ‘Redskins’ when authoring articles he publishes on his website. Yet, other authors (e.g., Josh Alper) use the term all the time when they post articles there. Florio, of course, has every right to demand that his subordinates like Alper cease using that purportedly offensive term. But he doesn’t and those like Alper use ‘Redskins’ liberally throughout pieces he writes.

As I said before, I’m not going to get into the other poorly concocted arguments relied on by the name-change proponents. For instance, I’m not going to get into the fact that I wouldn’t call someone ‘Redskin’ to their face, another laughable canard put out those like Florio. While I’d refrain from doing so, I’d also have no problem telling them I’m a Redskins fan. Indeed, I’ve worn my brightly burgundy-colored Redskins jerseys in at least two Indian reservations / casinos. I never got any blow back and, in fact, some Native American pit bosses yelled out to me “Hail To The Redskins!”

If you’re wondering, yes, I’m a huge REDSKINS fan. That does inform my views on this issue. Quite a bit, I must say. But it doesn’t detract from the full-proof rationale underlying my position.

As stated above, this issue is about a bunch of white folks who’d love to tell minorities, in this case Native Americans, what to do and how to think.

This has happened before.

It’s called a reservation. Remember how that turned out for Native Americans?

Please, Ed., this issue isn’t close, and you need not be agnostic on it.

Oh yeah, Hail To The Redskins!

ieplaya on August 8, 2014 at 1:14 AM

PolAgnostic on August 8, 2014 at 12:30 AM

I have a sneaking suspicion that Ed sides with those who want the name changed. In the same way that Ed has given indications in the past that he’s for amnesty but never directly comes out and takes a strong stand on the issue, I think he knows that doing revealing his left-leaning views would upset his conservative readership.

I could be wrong, and those are just my guesses.

bluegill on August 8, 2014 at 1:30 AM

Who left the gate open at the paranoia ward?

V7_Sport on August 8, 2014 at 2:37 AM

Playground intelligence on a large scale. It’s amazing what power will do to people.

mixplix on August 8, 2014 at 5:41 AM

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