Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Tail Wag: Dan Snyder loses his racist trademark

Every Sunday morning at 11am, The Tail Wag examines something that made me happy in the past week.

I have lived in Washington, D.C. for about 8 years of my life and I still do not get why the people here are so devoted to their football team's racist nickname.

racist redskins fan
This week, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office did what it should have done a quarter-century ago and cancelled the trademark for Dan Snyder's Racist Name football team. Of course, this means nothing in actuality. They can keep using the name, with trademark, until the appeal is heard and that could take years and years. The name is likely not going anywhere.

But it did provide yet another window into the stupidity of the people here in the D.C. area defending the name. The defenses range from "It's not racist to me" to the always fun "It's been that way for 80 years." It's all garbage.

In 1992, when the team was playing the Buffalo Bills for their last Super Bowl, there were protests outside the Metrodome about the team's name. I remember, as a 10 year old, thinking that it was pretty crazy that the team had a racist name and that no one really cared.

We've seen the NCAA force schools to change nicknames, as in the St. John's Red Storm and the Miami Redhawks who replaced previous racist names with "Red" in them to refer to Native Americans.

Yet here in D.C., it has become part of being a fan of the team that you cannot under any circumstance support changing the name. You have to hold onto this piece of racist tradition because it's been handed down through generations.

Would anything change if the name changed to, say, the Redshirts? Would people in D.C. worship RG3 any less? Would people stop showing up to FedEx Field? Would the team suddenly stop owning this city in every possible way?

It's a terrible fight to pick and I feel bad for the misguided fans defending the name. It offends some people. In fact, it offends a lot of people. So why not change the name? Why willingly choose to offend?

I would say that saner heads will prevail but Dan Snyder is an idiot.

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