Hail to the Go-Gos?

Who could have predicted that the last week would see the NFL become a collective group hug of racial and cultural sensitivity? This is a league that wallows and ruts in its frat-boy "politically incorrect" image. That's why they hire women sportscasters like Lisa Guerrero, whose only qualifications are producing drool in the 18-34 male marketing demographic. That's why their sponsors use Mud-Wrestling to sell beer. And that's why ESPN hired Rush Limbaugh.
But Operation Rush blew up in their face with the tidal wave of public outrage over Limbaugh's comments about Donovan McNabb's "overrated" status as a Black Quarterback. Blind-sided and bewildered Network execs held their heads and seemed ready to join Limbaugh for a double-decker Oxy-Contin sandwich. On a dime the NFL went from Jimmy Kimmel to Jimmy Swaggert. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie spoke out against the "institutional racism" on ESPN. Tom Jackson, co-host of ESPN's Sunday NFL countdown who was mute when Limbaugh went on his rant said, "Rush Limbaugh's comments could not have been more hurtful. He was brought in to talk football and he broke that trust.".
Yet as the storms over Rush raged, and all the NFL's Saturday night Big Willies became Sunday morning Bible Bills, a defeat for the cause of NFL racial justice went unnoticed and uncommented upon. A federal judge ruled that our own Washington Redskins' sick 19th Century name was A-OK. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly overturned a ruling revoking the Washington Redskins trademark, finding there was "insufficient evidence" to conclude that the name is disparaging to Native Americans.
The lawsuit began in 1992 when seven Native Americans, led by Suzan Shown Harjo, asked the trademark office to cancel trademarks containing the word ``Redskin''. In 1999, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted a petition to cancel the team's trademark registrations because of a federal law that prohibits registering names if they are "disparaging, scandalous, contemptuous or disreputable.''
If the team lost, it could have been stripped of the exclusive rights to market the Redskins name. Harjo said she hoped this would lead Skins owner Dan Snyder to change the team nickname, although he had pledged not to do so, regardless of the outcome of the case. But it was not to be.
Kollar-Kotelly chastised the board for basing its decision in part on a 1996 survey of American Indians that found a majority found the term "Redskin" offensive.
"There is no evidence in the record that addresses whether the use of the term "redskin(s)" in the context of a football team and related entertainment services would be viewed... as disparaging,'' the Judge wrote.
So while the NFL gets on its high horse about racial tolerance, they are helping its most valuable billion dollar franchise to maintain a name that exemplifies the worst traditions of racial violence and bigotry in U.S. history. The Redskins name was the product of their arch-segregationist owner George Preston Marshall in his effort to make the Skins the team of the South. Even their fight song Hail to the Redskins used to end with instead of "fight for old DC" "Fight for old Dixie!"
How the Redskins get away with this is an utter sham of cash over conscience: Native Americans are the victims of mass genocide unparalleled in human history. Their prize for being slaughtered is they get to be the NFL's clowns, and get to be told by a judge that there is "no proof" that a racial slur is offensive.
This judge, incidentally is also known for her controversial decisions in the cases of "Salem Witch Hunters vs. Evil Crones from Hell" and "Flat Earth vs. Round Earth."
But while the NFL and Dan Snyder is happy to parade a mascot that belongs in the dustbin of human history, we at the Prince George's Post feel differently.
That's why we have been holding a contest to "Rename the Redskins", and some of the suggestions have been priceless. I am happy to report on names like the Washington Feathers, and the DC GoGos, but I truly think we can do better. So send your suggestions to editor@pgpost.com and we will report on your ideas next week, and then forward them into Snyder-central.
But I want to give the last word to Michael Lindsay, a lawyer for Harjo who said simply, "The struggle continues."
Damn right.

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