All Points: No more Redskins?

Posted Sunday, Jun. 29, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, mnorman@star-telegram.com.

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On June 18, a panel of judges with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademarks associated with the Washington Redskins NFL team, citing the name as “disparaging” to American Indians. Public polling and surveys of American Indians suggest there is no consensus about the team’s moniker, but team owner Dan Snyder is unequivocal about changing the name, which he argues is not offensive, but an honorific. Is it time for the team to change its controversial name? Or is this another case of the politically correct police and government overreach?

This is likely the last thing I’ll ever agree with Dan Snyder on. After all I wish failure upon his business at least twice a year.

Of course, this is another example of government overreach and forced political correctness. A true market-driven solution would solve this (made-up) problem if given a chance. The American public is free to express what they think of a business in the most effective way possible — sales. All levels of the government should stay out of private business after necessary safety and environmental concerns are addressed.

Entrepreneurs and private business builders should be looked up to and admired.

— Ralph M. Gill, Fort Worth

Snyder is right in stating the Redskins’ name is not offensive, but honorific.

The panel of judges that canceled their trademark was to simply appease the politically correct police. As the adage goes, “The wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the grease.” What’s disparaging is that a group of ‘weaned on a pickle’ mentality can force a name change without justification.

What’s next? Changing the name of the White House — doesn’t it disparage races other than whites?

— Fred Ream, Fort Worth

With all the issues facing this country, this is all Reid can concentrate on? A ratio of 9 to 1 of Native Americans do not find this offensive.

Do we then change all sports teams names that can be deemed offensive whether they deal with Native Americans or other subjects such as Trojans, Bears, etc? Many of the sports teams from Native American communities are called Indians, Braves and yes, Redskins. The state of Oklahoma is Choctaw for “Red People.”

Only “whites,” and special interest groups find the name offensive. Like other racial issues in America the public has progressed past these trivial issues and are more focused on economic and family matters.

— Richard Lilly, Haltom City

If the name Redskins is “honorific,” then no one should be offended by calling the Republican Congress the “Washington Whiteskins.” Would Republicans feel thus honored? It sounds offensive to me.

“Redskins” should go. It is as offensive as “Whiteskins.”

— Robert Stone, Fort Worth

The people who are historically referred to as “Redskins” should address the use of the term. Since the question was not directed necessarily to Native Americans, I will give it a shot from a minority person’s viewpoint.

In looking at the origin of the term, one should determine if the term “Redskins” was intended to be a term of endearment. I do not believe that was the intent. As a black American, I know a little something about offensive, disparaging names.

However, the debate about the use of “Redskins” should be decided by those people that it is or was used to identify.

I grew up rooting against the Washington Redskins, and it would seem odd to call them anything other, but who am I to make that decision.

— Willie R. Hargis, Forest Hill

Since when do some judges with a federal agency get the right to determine if a word, in this case Redskins, is disparaging? This whole thing is much more than canceling a patented trademark name. It is the federal government acting in a dictatorial manner of which they have no authority against a private company. Total overreach and none of their business! Let a lawsuit be brought against Synder and a jury of citizens decide if Redskins is really disparaging.

— Jean King, Fort Worth

Tell Snyder to change his team name to the “Redskin Potatoes.” Problem solved!

— Leslie Cooper, Aledo

The only thing offensive in the name is “Washington,” and that should be removed. Will the offensive name used to call the state north of us also be changed?

— Robert Neel, Saginaw

The solution to the dilemma is obvious: Remove the Indian logo from the helmet and replace it with a facsimile of: 1) a redskin potato, 2) a redskin peanut or 3) a bikini-clad lass with a severe sunburn.

I would also state that all Indian reservations are a larger insult to our Indian brothers, as they have always been a means of keeping that population “in their place.” Free the Indians from their captivity now and let them become first-class citizens instead of wards of the federal government.

— Ron Streetenberger, Euless

Does this mean a name change will also be required for redskin peanuts?

— Hy Siegel, Fort Worth

Cowboys did horrible things to Native Americans. Also, Cowboy has a male connotation. In order to be inclusive, we could call them the Dallas CowPeople. Why are the New England Patriots called that? One could be offended that this could mean their team from another state is not patriotic. We have two NFL teams that draw their names from Pirates. This could offend England. Pirates gave them problems long before the U.S. was founded.

Of course this is all silly talk. And that is what these few politicians are doing.

I think we know the difference between their silly talk and real leaders facing real problems.

— Travis Malone, Richland Hills

Remember way back in 1997 when the Washington Bullets became the Wizards because the name was associated with gun violence? Well, the current Wizards owner, Ted Leonsis, advises that he is “open” to changing the team’s name back to the Bullets. However, it will never happen because the overreach and influence of the politically correct are almost always more powerful than the silent majority.

Snyder is not used to others telling him what to do, but I hope he can successfully sue the overzealous U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. However, this race for the naming rights was over a long time ago. Neither the powerful Snyder nor the millions of Redskins’ faithful have any chance against the government and the liberal PC media. Common sense and logical thinking are passé and just wishful remembrances of the past.

— Patrick Jenkins, Arlington

I said it before: How about the Washington Native Sons?

— Richard D. Toth, Haltom City

I’m not a big Danny Snyder fan (Go Cowboys!) but I’m with him on this one. It’s just the mascot of a football team, nothing else. Nothing sinister. If you are offended by the name, get over it. I’m offended by the IRS losing emails (what a bunch of liars), but I’ll get over it. This overreaction to everything by everybody who is or who is not politically correct is nauseating.

— Lynn Miller, North Richland Hills

“Redskins” is highly offensive to American Indians. Snyder should stop contributing to racism in this country and change the name immediately. Just how long would a team’s name such as “Blackskins” last? There would be an immediate cry of racism from everyone.

— Manny Sanchez, Fort Worth

Leave thename as it is, if the Native Americans ain’t complaining. They have been Redskins for 50 years I know of. What else would you call them?

— Dennis Neal, Denton

It is just another example of the PC police in action as a result of the political climate espoused by President Obama. We no longer have any freedom.

— Walter H. Delashmit, Justin

All about our freedoms: There is no justification whatsoever in deleting the Redskins name from such a storied franchise. We cannot just sit with our hands tied and be subjected to whims from whosoever wants to dictate their terms and expect us to be satisfied with their decisions. There is reverence in that name and the name itself is treated with respect in that organization.

— Victor J. Santiago, Crowley

It should be no business of the government to decide what name a private entity can call itself. The action of the office of Patents and Trademarks to strip the Washington Redskins of exclusive rights to that name was probably illegal but no doubt orchestrated by Obama, who has no problem acting outside of the law. What prompted the sudden demand that they change their name — a few people are offended? Well, I am offended by Obama and demand that he resign.

— Clista Hancock, Arlington

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