Pressure Mounts Essay

Submitted By LyndsayTaylor11
Words: 1063
Pages: 5

In the article “Pressure Mounts for Washington Redskins to Drop Offensive Team Name,” written by Nick Chiles, he talks about Native American groups campaigning against professional sports teams and names such as the Redskins and the Atlanta Braves. Several members of Congress have introduced legislation in April. Native Americans petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark trial and appeal board challenging the team name “Redskins.” The petitioners argued the name Redskins be declared offensive and the name and logo should be stripped of its rights. Petitioners believe that the word “Redskins” is a racial slur and should not be entitled to trademark protection. In 1999, the same court ruled the name could be interpreted as offensive, and a violation of trademark law. In 2009, the Supreme Court overturned the decision on appeal because plaintiffs waited too long and sided with the appeals court and ruled in favor of the team. Over the past forty-five years, hundreds of high schools and colleges discontinued using names and mascots tied to Native Americans. Former U.S. Senator Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell stated that “savage,” “squaw,” “buck,” and “redskin” were the most offensive words spoken to him. The practice of scalping is associated with the word redskin.
The government joins the Native Americans in attempting to impose unnecessary hardship on companies. After Native American groups and ten members of congress sent letters to Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins and NFL Commissioner Roger Godell, they waited for a period of time without a response and then sent it to congress. The congressmen and congresswomen introduced a bill in the house, and it is not expected to advance in the Republican controlled house. The four Congressmen and six Congresswomen that filed the bill are: Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.), Donna M.Christensen (D-Virgin Islands), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia). In addition, Native American groups took their case to court at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The decision was overturned on appeal in 2009 in favor of the team. Over the past 45 years, hundreds of schools have dropped the Indian names and mascots after being contacted by Native American groups. Between 1996 and 2002, the patent office refused at least three attempts by the Redskins to register new brands using the name “Redskins.”
In my opinion, the use of the term “Redskins” and by using a mascot is a sign of respect and honor. I feel that the Native Americans are taking this out of context by thinking the symbols are misrepresenting the truth. The sports teams use these logos and mascots as a symbol of pride and heritage of our country. Even though the U.S. Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled the Redskins name be declared offensive, the Supreme Court sided with the teams and overturned their decision on appeal. In my opinion, the dictionaries today state the name Redskin as often or usually offensive however it is not always the case. The use of the term Redskin and mascots used by sporting teams do not fall within the terms of the dictionary definition. The teams use and market their logos in a respectful and appropriate manner. I believe the NCAA policy preventing schools with Native American names from participating in championship or playoff games made this policy based on the loss of money and public opinion and tried to satisfy all parties. I believe the individuals that used the most offensive words towards U.S. Senator Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell were not appropriate and most white people will take offense to those words as well.
In movies, the Native Americans are portrayed and associated with barbaric practices because of our nation’s history. Even though the treatment of Native Americans…