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Politicians commence process of pressuring other owners on Washington name

Carolina Panthers v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

To date, the political aspect of the challenge to the name of the Washington NFL franchise has focused on applying pressure to owner Daniel Snyder specifically and the rest of the NFL generally.

Now, an effort apparently has begun to pressure individual owners not named Daniel Snyder.

Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) has sent a letter to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf urging him “to not remain silent on this matter any longer.”

“NFL franchises split the sales of their licensed merchandise equally,” McCollum writes. “As you well know, when a shirt, cap, or jersey bearing the Washington team name is sold, the Minnesota Vikings share in the profit from that sale. After yesterday’s decision, NFL owners must now ask themselves if they want to continue to profit from a name so hurtful to our Native American brothers and sisters that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deemed it ineligible for federal protection. By taking a stand to change the mascot, you can send a very clear message to Native Americans and all Americans that your organization no longer wishes to benefit from the commercialization of that hateful slur.”

Assuming that McCollum’s contention regarding shared merchandising revenue is accurate (we’ll ask the league whether it is), she has a decent point. If all owners profit from the use of the name, all owners are complicit in its ongoing use in the face of mounting public, political, and legal opposition.

Other owners primarily if not exclusively have remained silent on the issue, neither expressing support or condemnation. On the former, their silence is arguably deafening. Still, the needle won’t move until one or more of them choose to speak out.

The chances of that happening are roughly equivalent to the chances of Snyder changing the name without the NFL and other owners privately nudging him to do so.

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53 Responses to “Politicians commence process of pressuring other owners on Washington name”
  1. aceakking says: Jun 19, 2014 4:57 PM

    A slur is a slur is a slur whichever way you want to spin it.

  2. esd45suf says: Jun 19, 2014 5:06 PM

    Politicians never miss an opportunity to jump on the public opinion bandwagon. McCollum has been in congress for 13 years, did she just learn the team in town’s name now?

  3. bassplucker says: Jun 19, 2014 5:07 PM

    Wow, I’m so glad our reps in D.C. don’t have any more pressing matters than this to spend their time on than this. Tornados ripping the middle of the country apart, rampant food and energy inflation, but hey, they’re right on top of that NFL team mascot thing.

  4. darkneptune73 says: Jun 19, 2014 5:07 PM

    These politicians…..

    I wish I had something nice to say but I don’t.

  5. spartan822 says: Jun 19, 2014 5:13 PM

    Long live the Redskins.

  6. texansdan says: Jun 19, 2014 5:17 PM

    Momentum continues to build. All its going to take at this point is one major sponsor to pull out from supporting the Washington team. As soon as that first domino falls, it will go quickly. At this rate, I would call it a 50/50 chance that the first sponsor pulls out before Week 1. #WashingtonWarriors

  7. nfloracle says: Jun 19, 2014 5:18 PM

    If the politicians in Congress spent 1/50th as much time dealing with the many issues and problems that desperately need bi-partisan solving in this country as they did worrying about the PC-ness of a football team’s name, it’s conceivable possible that they’d have better than the current 7% approval rating from the people they allegedly represent.

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 19, 2014 5:19 PM

    So for now we just all understand that the other owners approve of the name. There’s also no other injustices of any kind presently happening and you can be sure of that otherwise these owners would spot it and speak up of course. If they don’t then hopefully Scott Bakula will just go back in time and put things right which once were wrong.

  9. edouble86 says: Jun 19, 2014 5:22 PM

    The last appeal took 4 years. The Redskins brand is still a registered trademark during the appeal.

    AKA, the other owners will continue to make money off of Redskins sales. Until then, the owners should gladly tell Miss Betty to focus your “efforts” somewhere important.

  10. stellarperformance says: Jun 19, 2014 5:24 PM

    Kluwe was right. The Vikings don’t care about anything if it means they have to stick their neck out.

  11. boobsmcgoo says: Jun 19, 2014 5:27 PM

    The team link on your home page still reads, “Washington Redskins”. You might want to get the IT nerds to change it to “Washington NFL franchise”.

  12. crabcakesfootball says: Jun 19, 2014 5:27 PM

    Aces!

  13. stateofthesport says: Jun 19, 2014 5:28 PM

    Its silly, as a native man, and after talking to other natives, i can honestly say, i haven’t come across one, that was offended by the name….

  14. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jun 19, 2014 5:29 PM

    and a cartel is a cartel anyway you look at it… they will stick together…..until they collectively decide to put this conversation to rest.

  15. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jun 19, 2014 5:31 PM

    It pains me to admit I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’ve got a Buc’s hoody I’ve only worn once and 7 or 8 caps. What do I do with them now? As much as the racial epithet aggrieves me, I could no more give up football than I could breathing. I suppose the only thing to do is redouble my efforts in support of the name change. HAIL TO THE NAME CHANGE!!

  16. nfl4dummies says: Jun 19, 2014 5:34 PM

    “a name so hurtful to OUR Native American brothers and sisters”

    Isn’t the name McColloum Irish?

  17. pwcis says: Jun 19, 2014 5:35 PM

    Wow. Elected to represent us. Instead, telling us what to do. This is not a democracy.

  18. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jun 19, 2014 5:39 PM

    Having had the NFL ticket since it’s inception I don’t see very many commercials. Do they publish a list of company’s that advertise during NFL broadcasts? I’d like to know who not to patronize.

  19. cahootie says: Jun 19, 2014 5:43 PM

    They should change the name to the Washington Fighting Irish.

  20. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 19, 2014 5:49 PM

    Betty McCollum is one of the worst representatives in Congress. Whatever she’s against, I’m for.

  21. scotrugby says: Jun 19, 2014 5:50 PM

    The Washington Bullets.

    Oh wait…

  22. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Jun 19, 2014 5:51 PM

    Washington Whiteskins. Lets take the name for ourselves then.

  23. Notso PC says: Jun 19, 2014 5:54 PM

    These same politicians have no issue with collecting your dollars from the sale of Washington Redskins license plates.

  24. eagleswin says: Jun 19, 2014 6:04 PM

    Congress’s approval rating is 16% Arguably the most ineffective in history yet they have time for this PR stunt?

    Did she also remind Zygi that Vikings raped and pillaged? Perhaps giving him a nudge that he might want to change his team name as well?

  25. waynesborokennyg says: Jun 19, 2014 6:10 PM

    Politicians are now effectively dividing the NFL. Since the PC Politicians all seem to be mostly from one political party, it’s time to decide if the NFL is going to be for leftist a only. Seriously, this has potential for turning off a significant percentage of the fan base if it’s just going to be tied in with the DNC. And remember folks, the POTUS and other Democrats haven’t had many good things to say about the NFL anyway. Beginning of the end if this really happens… Which is probably the ultimate goal here.

  26. dawnkeebals says: Jun 19, 2014 6:14 PM

    Red Mesa high school in Arizona has over 95% native American enrollment. Can anyone guess their mascot?? It’s Redskins! What is their logo? An Indian head, very similar to Washington’s. How hypocritical can these groups get? Stick to your guns Dan!

  27. iamkillerfin says: Jun 19, 2014 6:24 PM

    LEAVE THE NAME ALONE IT IS PART OF HISTORY OF THE NFL!!! Tell the lying politicians to keep their nose out of it & maybe that band wagon will help them get votes…. the NFL is the MOST watched sport in the world!!!

  28. cuda1234 says: Jun 19, 2014 6:30 PM

    If the trademark is undone, can’t all 32 owners print their own resdkins gear and not share the profits with anyone? All this does is allow more people to get into the Redskins business and make the name even more widely used. As usual, congress gets it wrong.

  29. kokomike says: Jun 19, 2014 6:38 PM

    As a Redskins’ season ticket holder for 36 years, I have never once uttered the word “Redskins” as a slur. Nor has anyone I know. Hail to the Redskins is a slogan of respect and honor. The logo is 100% honorable. I can understand that the word “Redskins” is being co-oped for political purposes, and many will champion the cause to change the name, regardless of historical truths. That is politics, and Washington is the most political city in the world. If Snyder ultimately decides to change the name, I suggest that no name will be equal to “Redskins” in terms of honor and respect as it has been used by Washington Redskins fans for my entire life.

  30. 12thmanseattle says: Jun 19, 2014 6:45 PM

    I don’t have a stron gopinion either way, but can somebody please show me where at with 100% certainty that the term “Redskin” was ever actually a completely negative term. My best friend is native american, and I grew up next to an indian reservation , and none of the locals seem to care or find it offensive. It seems as if white people, and one publicity hungry native lawyer are the only ones that take issue with the term. If we’re going to do away with it that’s completely fine, but can we also get rid of the term “Caucasian” and “African American” while we’re at it

  31. ocgunslinger says: Jun 19, 2014 6:46 PM

    I’m going to buy a lot of Redskin gear before the PC police eventually ruin everything they touch.

    Why not put this on the next national ballot? Let the country decide one way or the other. Never happen because we all know the name change wouldn’t take place.

  32. GenXJay says: Jun 19, 2014 6:54 PM

    the politics mixing with pro football discourages my wallet to fully support any nfl branded merchandise.
    That and the packers & their yoga sessions.
    These are the things ruining a great pastime.

  33. antalicus says: Jun 19, 2014 6:55 PM

    I think the “Redskin” name was losing any negative connotation it had over time. Ironically these politicians have brought back the bad meaning.

    Word meanings can transform over time if you let them. For better or worse.

  34. noffy32 says: Jun 19, 2014 7:11 PM

    Damn country is falling apart and they are worried about a name. If this is your concern then get your head out of the sand and wake up.

  35. abninf says: Jun 19, 2014 7:37 PM

    A new Gallup survey finds just 7 percent of Americans have a high level of confidence in Capitol Hill. Enough said.

  36. winninaintsinnin says: Jun 19, 2014 7:46 PM

    Tick, tock…

    Probably not this season, but by next season y’all be supporting a different Washington team.

    And couldn’t be soon enough.

  37. ufourya says: Jun 19, 2014 7:59 PM

    The board’s ruling is illogical and unsupported by any significant evidence. Last time this was attempted (1999), a federal judge overturned the ruling (2003) for these very reasons.

    It is illogical that a team would give itself with a disparaging name. Duh.

    In addition, the last poll taken indicates that support for the name is overwhelming, and there is zero evidence that the name is intended to disparage – quite the contrary.

    The sad thing is that we are becoming more used to the illogical emanating from our ‘leaders’ and the lapdog media. We are also daily being inundated with propaganda supporting freedom-killing schemes like this present non-issue.

    For the love of freedom and common sense, DO NOT CHANGE THE NAME. Raise a middle finger to all the utopian masterminds who think they have the moral high ground based on their own inflated opinions of themselves.

    May God have mercy on us.

  38. cwwgk says: Jun 19, 2014 8:04 PM

    The owners have been embarrassing politicians for decades. Just look at all the stadium deals struck over the last quarter century. I doubt the owners concern themselves much with political rhetoric.

  39. beartastic45 says: Jun 19, 2014 8:35 PM

    I pray that they go after the NFL’s anti trust exemption if Danny Boy continues to resist changing the name. All in all a very good day continuing headaches for lord Goodell and his minions!

  40. jdphx says: Jun 19, 2014 8:50 PM

    I’m FAR more offended by what’s done (not done)
    by Congress, than anything done by the Redskins.

  41. jpj13 says: Jun 19, 2014 9:35 PM

    Redskins, Redskins, Redskins , Redskins, Redskins , Redskins, Redskins. Oh, and one more thing….REDSKINS

  42. nou04 says: Jun 19, 2014 9:35 PM

    I am not a Redskins fan by any means. But I hope Snyder sticks to his guns.

    Doesn’t Congress have more important matters, like terrorism, the economy, letting Obama break any law he decides he wants too? And don’t forget about their fellow congress members that are breaking the law, such as the one in California charged with selling weapons to China?

  43. Smash-Mouth.com says: Jun 19, 2014 9:43 PM

    Thank God they ‘re able to focus on this and not be distracted by more trivial issues like, you know, Iraq or the economy.

  44. avenger9800 says: Jun 19, 2014 10:04 PM

    I’m a Steelers fan, but I’m going to buy a redskins hat tomorrow. And I’ll wear that hat proudly every day! All the PC people in this country can kiss it!

  45. hsteacher says: Jun 19, 2014 10:21 PM

    Let me get this straight we have whites, blacks, yellows, browns, and reds? Does that cover it all?

  46. cags777 says: Jun 19, 2014 10:32 PM

    As much as I don’t like the Redskins name, I think it’s worse making Dan Snyder into a political martyr. Besides, aren’t there more important things to do in Congress?

  47. rosstuckershair says: Jun 19, 2014 11:26 PM

    It’s really the principal of the whole controversy that bothers me. Progressive thinking is beginning to invade the NFL Now, several newspapers in KC. Seattle, Buffalo and Philadelphia will not longer call them the Redskins. Although a appeal will take a long time to complete and win for the Redskins, the absurdity is mind boggling…

    Lord in 20 years, we will be watching the NFL playing the Unity Bowl where there are no winners, everyone gets the same trophy and Dear Leader will deliver a speech at halftime….

  48. virginiaviking says: Jun 20, 2014 12:16 AM

    I guess they can’t change their name to the Washington Hogs either , because the fat people will get offended. What ever happened to this being a free country. I mean I’m not a bigot by any means . I just believe if you spend millions to buy a company you should be able decide what the name is. Also with the shambles that congress has put this country in , i believe they have more concerning issues to deal with than a name of a sports franchise.

  49. wyrdawg says: Jun 20, 2014 12:22 AM

    A-bout time! Represent us.. PLEASE!

    Name needs changed. Sucks the US Gov’t has to do it.

    Dear “the person that talked Mr. Snyder out of signing every big “name” in free agency”: Tell him he’s wrong here too.

  50. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jun 20, 2014 1:37 AM

    The simple fact of the matter is this. Because you don’t find it offensive is absolutely inconsequential, especially if you aren’t Native American. As a Native American I didn’t have a particularly negative view of the Washington franchise until I started to see all the push back. It’s petty, pointless, infantile, redundant and not least of all racially motivated with latent bigotry. And that’s as plain as the nose on your face.

  51. NoRespect says: Jun 20, 2014 7:50 AM

    And by “Now, an effort apparently has begun to pressure individual owners not named Daniel Snyder.” you mean 1 Senator who is not well regarded? Look at the replies to her tweet on the subject. Only 9, and each one against her. Not a single reply in her favor.

  52. morr24 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:39 AM

    The Democratic party has become the thought police for the nation. George Orwell just turned over in his grave. Once again a feeble intellect deceives its holder into a belief in their own superiority.

  53. banlarson says: Jun 20, 2014 1:24 PM

    Ah, isn’t it a bit late to be worried about offending the people we stole this country from? I’d bet there are more non-Native American’s that are “offended” by the name than actual Native Americans. Sorry if I offended anyone.

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