January 31, 2004

But even those concessions weren’t enough, so facing a legislative deadline to get the bill out of the Assembly this week, Goldberg promised to amend it in the Senate to ban only "redskins" because it is the "most odious of them all."

The legislation is to take effect January 1, 2006. What are the odds that the NFL team will have changed names by then? What about by January 1, 2016? I think it's a long ways off, but inevitable eventually. The issue just seems more on the radar lately, and not only online among non-fans. At least one well-respected member of the 'skins family, Rick "Doc" Walker, almost exclusively uses "Burgundy and Gold" to refer to the team.

posted by danostuporstar to culture at 12:46 AM - 11 comments

This is a California state law, so it won't affect the Indigenous Persons outside of creating a more hostile climate for their nickname. I would be surprised if the team was still using such a controversial mascot in 2016. Unless the law regarding racially offensive terms being ineligible for trademarks is repealed, I don't see how the team wins that case on appeal.

posted by rcade at 08:23 AM on January 31, 2004

Doesn't this violate the first amendment? Or at least California's Constitution? Seems like it does.

posted by Bag Man at 11:05 AM on January 31, 2004

It only affects state schools, so in that sense there don't seem to be constitutional problems. The first amendment covers governmental prior restraint of private speech, not official team nicknames of public schools. As someone that is very much in favor of free speech, I am appalled that an open racial slur is still tolerated as a mascot name. [sidenote] When I was working at a community newspaper, we took a lot of unpopular stands on political issues. But the scariest hate mail we ever received (and the only death threat) was when we decided not to use the term "redskins" in the paper to refer to a local high school team. I don't understand why people are so attached to mascots, but they are. [/sidenote]

posted by jeffmshaw at 11:40 AM on January 31, 2004

Will this affect the DC NFL team if they play games in our fine state? That would be suh-weet.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:49 PM on January 31, 2004

The Redskins are already won the case on appeal . The N.A. group has appealed that district court ruling though. This law will no way affect the Washington Redskins when they visit CA. Survey: Should all Indian-reference sports nicknames be banned? Should only those that have a historic derrogatory meaning (ie Redskins) be banned?

posted by dales15 at 01:05 PM on January 31, 2004

I don't know about "banned," but I certainly think any team with any Indian-reference nicknames should change it.

posted by jeffmshaw at 02:01 PM on January 31, 2004

Good point Jeff New Survey: Should all Indian-reference sports nicknames be changed and/or banned? Should only those that have a historic derrogatory meaning (ie Redskins) be changed and/or banned?

posted by dales15 at 04:33 PM on January 31, 2004

i definately agree with the "most odious of them all" label. some folks seeking change do take things too far though. my high school is on this list because they are named the "warriors," but actually our mascot looks more like robin hood than tonto. i do think it's possible to have ethnically-based mascots -- the vikings, even the "fighting" irish -- which honor the portrayed tradition, despite the caricatured nature of mascots. it's historical context which places native american sports names in a different ethical scope.

posted by danostuporstar at 05:37 PM on January 31, 2004

in other words...no, they should not all be neccesarily changed: the FSU Seminoles is an interesting case.

posted by danostuporstar at 05:41 PM on January 31, 2004

I say derogatory names should go. We have enough silly emotional issues dividing us already, we don't need to add wood to the fire.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:53 PM on January 31, 2004

I had no idea that "The term 'Redskins' derives from an old, genocidal practice in this country of scalping Native Americans to earn a bounty. A bounty hunter could prove he had killed a native by turning in a scalp, which often were bloody and called 'redskins.'" In Washington, where we have already seen the "Bullets" give way to the "Wizards" (what about the Caps? ;-) one might think it would be easy to change the name of their NFL team, especially in an era where sports franchises sprout like merchandising mushrooms. Our penchant for nicknaming and logo-ing everything to death is interesting. How did the Redskins come by their nickname? What is sacred about it? Sure, "that team from Washington" may not sound or look good in print but certainly something more appropriate can be found. I'll start: The Washington Insiders

posted by Dick Paris at 05:43 AM on February 01, 2004

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