Redskins owner sues Native Americans who testified on racism to Trademark Office

This is going to sound a bit tinfoily but I wonder if Snyder isn’t behind the opposition to the name. The team hasn’t exactly been successful in recent years but Snyder wants the taxpayers to build him a new stadium. That’s hard to do when the public is mad at you for not fielding a winning team. But if you can somehow find a common enemy for you and your fans to bond over, then you can get them to support you just to spite “those people”. If this is the case, he almost certainly didn’t expect things to go as far as they have and end up with the trademarks canceled.

There has been talk of the Redskins name being racist for decades. I remember several times in the 80s it was mentioned in the weekly news magazines like Time. But it never really took off as a hot topic of national discussion. Why has it suddenly become such a big issue? Maybe society has changed enough but all of this feels like outrage that has been intentionally stoked a-la Ryan Holiday/Tucker Max.

If you follow the news on taxpayer funded sports facilities, you know that there has been a huge increase in the number of new stadiums in recent years and that the facilities they’re replacing get younger and younger. The new stadiums aren’t just heavily subsidized by the taxpayers, the deals are structured to put heavy emphasis on the owner of the team receiving revenue from events that happen the three hundred and fifty some odd days of the year when their team isn’t in the stadium. I think the NFL is worried about a multitude of factors threatening the long term viability of football such as expanding knowledge of the dangers of concussions and the inevitable conversion of major NCAA football into a semi-pro league which would no longer be a cost free apprentice system for the NFL. The deals that are being pushed through with great effort would allow the owner of the local NFL team to continue to rake in massive profits from stadiums built by the public even if the NFL itself collapsed.

Unless a secret recording leaks out, we’ll never know if Synder is paying for the flames to be stoked for his own benefit but it sure is convenient that just when he starts to lobby for a new stadium that an issue gets hot that pushes the fans of his team into his arms for protection against those nasty outsiders who want to take away the team name they’ve cheered for for decades.

I didn’t say it was “hard being white”. It’s just fine. Honestly. But I also can’t be bothered to find a clever graphic of a strawman to illustrate what I think of your comment.


How DARE you!




Oh, come on now. By acknowledging his privileged position, he was doing exactly the opposite of complaining that it’s hard to be white.


Good link, John. Exactly. Continuing to defending the name/trademark on the basis of intent is completely disingenuous. Once the effect is understood, the response should be to retract, apologise, ask for forgivness and move on.

1: Dan Snyder, go fuck a brick.


I’m of the opinion that white males are exactly the people that should be commenting and acting on ending the discrimination of peoples not white and male. (I’m one of those white males, too)


When does a dumb cliché become a racist slur?
(It’s obviously happened in the US with the word “redskins”, so hold your horses, I’m not trying to defend racists here).

I’m asking because it took me a while to “get it” when I first heard the debate. I live in Austria, Europe, so the question of discrimination against Native Americans just never came up. I don’t follow American football, either. My original impression of the word “redskin” mostly came from the few uses of the direct German translation (“Rothäute”).
It was a cliché from old children’s games. The proud warrior defending his native land from the European invaders. Honorable, brave, in touch with nature.
A ridiculous cliché that can get annoying, but not an insult. A romanticized and outdated view of a people far away, somehow like thinking of Japan as the country of samurais, or like the treatment that “The Sound of Music” gives to my own country.

So, what’s the difference?

Did something happen that poisoned a harmless cliché?

Or was it always the case that European clichés about Native Americans are more positive, because we never had direct part in the genocide against the native peoples?

Or was it in fact a harmless term until someone took offence for no good reason, and everyone except the racists stopped using it, thus making it a racist term?

Or is it that a harmless cliché about a minority just cannot remain harmless for long in the presence of racists?

This is the closest, but it was actually never harmless. You’re describing the idea of a “Noble Savage” which is basically a projection of white people’s debates about the natural state of human beings onto indigenous peoples who are used as a prop. Reducing the people of an entire continent to a single stereotype, even if it is a “positive” one, is definitely racist.


Here’s some wonderful evidence on just how awful Dee Snyder has been for a long, long time, from someone with long experience with reporting on awful people.

Hunter S. Thompson had a rare command of invective.


Thanks for clarifying–I was completely confused as to what the suit was about, but that explained it perfectly.

Oh come now. He did more than acknowledge; he also complained – whined, practically – the following:

But I am aware that my position, in the minds of many, disqualifies me from commenting at all on matters of discrimination.

Why bring that up, unless to imply how unfair that is? How beleagured it makes him feel? And that it (supposedly) happens often, or at least often enough to point that out? And that he feels unfairly stifled as a result?

All of which does not acknowledge that yes, if and when it does happen, it’s not fair, but more to the point, it doesn’t happen often at all.

Doesn’t happen often to me, but I see it often enough. I don’t feel beleagured. I don’t feel unfairly stifled. In the grand scheme of things, being questioned on the basis of my position, as to my motives or authenticity (as is happening now) is completely trivial. As I said, I was just declaring my position. I’m not sure why anybody really gives shit about it. But they do.


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Dan Snyder is awful. Dee Snider is awesome.


Originally he merely identified he was a white male, when you unleashed snark on him for identifying his privilege he explained that he liked to identify his privilege from a reason that you don’t quite approve of. He’s been nothing but reasonable about it. I guess you see it differently, but as a third party this exchange reads like you are snapping at someone for identifying their privilege, which doesn’t seem very useful.


We all know Dan is a jerk, but what about all of those 'Redskin" fans? At this point, I think public ridicule of anyone wearing that teams products is perfectly acceptable.


I didn’t see this as whining, just a statement of fact. A lot of people do believe that a person in a privileged class is disqualified from commenting on discrimination against the non-privileged class. Or at least, the comments of the person who is part of the privileged class are of less relevance or worth. It works like that when wealthy people comment on the causes of poverty too.

It’s good when someone recognizes their built-in privileges.


I’m glad you were here to let everyone know how HE feels. Ah, the power of projection.


I don’t think I agree with you on the point of Huck Finn, because if I understand what you’re saying, that Huck Finn (and the Redskins team name) were created in a time where that particular name (“Redskins”) or moniker/slur (Finn’s companion “Nigger Jim”) was okay to be used given the culture of its time and is now unacceptable given the resulting shift in culture and awareness, seems to imply that MT used Jim and the word “nigger” being unaware or uncaring of its being a slur. I would instead argue that MT was wholly aware of the slur (used to place African Americans into the category of “other” or “less-than”) and was therefore pointing out that Jim and other African Americans are not to be diminished by a then-contemporary culture and should be seen as being just as human as any other white/red/black/yellow/whatever human. Attempts to change the novel to use other stand-in words (“hipster” being one ridiculous offering) changes the face of the novel and, to me, waters down its impact as a lesson in humanity.
The Washington team name, on the other hand, does absolutely no such thing.


No, that wasn’t the course of events. I didn’t respond to anything he said until he said this:

I am aware that my position, in the minds of many, disqualifies me from commenting at all on matters of discrimination.

That’s not a comment on his privilege; it’s a comment on his claim about how, supposedly “in the minds of many,” people react to his privilege.

And when white people say that kind of thing, insinuating that “many” POC think white people should just shut up in these situations, they’re insinuating something that isn’t true – not “many” POC do think like that, let alone actually say it. And so, when white people make such charges, which are usually just veiled, passive/aggressive complaints, they’re also (ironically enough) appropriating the mantle of victimhood.

I still think such behavior should be called out, whatever the person’s supposed intent. As winkybber himself said about intentions any intentions that may or may not lie behind the name/trademark in question here,

Continuing to defending the name/trademark on the basis of intent iis completely disingenuous. Once the effect is understood, the response should be to retract, apologise, ask for forgivness and move on.

Sure, and gamergate is merely a civil discussion about ethics in game journalism.