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Washington NFL Team Name Legal But Not Morally Right

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

Washington Red Cloud?


It is definitely possible to agree with a United States Supreme Court ruling legally, but not actually like it.


The court recently ruled that it violates a person’s First Amendment rights to prohibit them from trademarking words or names that might be offensive to someone else.


This unanimous decision was actually a no-brainer because hate speech is protected under the First Amendment.


However, just because something is legal in America does not make it morally right.  One only has to look at recent Supreme Court rulings that were actually immoral and unbiblical to prove that point.


Although Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder can legally reclaim the Redskins trademarks that he lost during President Barack Obama’s tenure does not mean he should.


Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe nailed it on June 20 on FS1’s “Undisputed” by saying that Snyder should be able to keep the logo, but should do away with the name because it offends some Native Americans.


Although the team name offends only a fraction of the Native American population, offending one Native American should be enough to avoid the name.


Furthermore, Sharpe said that the team name of the Washington NFL team is described as a racial slur in the dictionary, so there is actually no debate on the meaning of the word.


What if a team gives itself the nickname, the N-words?


Or what if a team gives itself a nickname that is derogatory to Latinos?


Like Sharpe said, the only demographic that will ruin your career if a slur is uttered in their direction is the Jewish community?


It seems that all other demographics have to put up with terms that are offensive to them and shut up and be happy about it.


It is time for that to stop.


Many colleges and universities voluntarily changed their nicknames like Syracuse University (Orangemen to Orange) and St. Johns University (Redmen to Red Storm).


If those colleges were able to change their nickname and survive, Washington’s NFL team should be able to change its nickname and thrive.


An easy solution is for Snyder to change the team nickname to Red Cloud.


The Sioux chief Red Cloud was the only Native American to lead a unified group of Indians and defeat the United States military in battle.


Red Cloud outsmarted the United States Army in the 1800s by unifying warring factions of Native Americans to fight a common enemy and by creating distractions, then ambushing the Americans from different angles.


If Snyder wants to honor Native American history with his team name, Red Cloud is the perfect nickname.


Red Cloud actually looks like the Washington team logo, so there would be no need to change the logo or the team colors.


While Snyder is definitely within his constitutional rights to keep the current nickname of the team, NFL fans are also well within their rights not to purchase merchandise with the offensive moniker.


Likewise, sports apparel stores are also well within their rights not to stock merchandise with that offensive nickname.


Maybe if Snyder is hurt in the pockets, he will realize how much hurt that his team’s nickname is causing some members of the Native American community.


This article was published on Friday 23 June, 2017.
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