Betty McCollum leads charge to rid NFL of "demeaning" Redskins team name

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Goodell to McCollum: "Neither in intent nor use was the name ever meant to denigrate Native Americans or offend any group."
Betty McCollum represents St. Paul in the House of Representatives, but as co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, she's leading the charge to get a D.C. sports team to change its name.

SEE ALSO: UMD hockey fans warned after "smallpox blankets" chant during Fighting Sioux series

McCollum and eight other Congress members recently wrote a letter to Washington Redskins owner Dan Synder urging him "to change the name of your NFL franchise."

"Native Americans throughout the country consider the term 'redskin' a racial, derogatory slur akin to the 'N-word' among African Americans or the 'W-word' among Latinos," McCollum and her colleagues wrote. "Such offensive epithets would no doubt draw wide-spread disapproval among the NFL's fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington's NFL team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans."

But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's response suggests the NFL and Redskins organization aren't interested in moving away from the "Redskins."

"For the team's millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America's most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect," Goodell writes in a letter addressed to McCollum and Republican Rep. Tom Cole (the two co-chair the Native American Caucus). "Indeed, the most recent detailed survey of Native Americans, conducted by the independent and highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center, found that fewer than 10% considered the name objectionable. Among the general public, an Associated Press survey conducted just two months ago found that only 11% felt it should be changed."

But on Twitter, McCollum indicated she's not satisfied with Goodell's response.

"Disappointed in NFL's attempt to justify a racial slur. Native Americans deserve to be treated with respect [and] dignity," she wrote.

To read the complete text of the letter McCollum co-wrote and Goodell's response, click to page two.

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29 comments
Kent Klinger
Kent Klinger

Maybe she should get back to stealing money from Peter so she can provide for Paul and create more Gov. dependence in this country. Like a good Dummicrat National Socialist BITCH she feels the need to impose her fat ass into somebody's private business and tell them how they may run their Team. Since it is the only way she can prove her RELEVANCE making sure that some body doesn't feel bad and has to deal with emotions. What a F'in LOSER.

Stephen Cheesebrow
Stephen Cheesebrow

I agree Tim, especially when there are a number of Native American groups who are backing the use of the name and symbols.

Tim Cheesebrow
Tim Cheesebrow

She shouldn't be wasting taxpayer resources on trivial stuff like this. If a group of offended people want to get the team to change their name they should have to file a suit and go through the judicial process like everyone else.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

I generally think this sort of thing is trivial attention-seeking.  But "Redskins?"  That's pretty obnoxious.  At least Florida State pays the Seminole Nation.  I don't think Cleveland should change the name from "Indians," but I don't think they should keep "Chief Wahoo" either.  And I call them the "Cleveland Indigenous Peoples," or "IPs," just to irritate people.  

Yeah, I get pretty tired of thin-skinned PC types sometimes.  But "Redskins" is beyond the pale, IMHO.

Noah Hanson
Noah Hanson

I have Norwegian heritage and the Minnesota Vikings deeply offend me. Medieval Norwegians were not unwashed berserkers with horned helmets! Let's start a petition to change the Vikings name to something less offensive, like the Minnesota Agrarians. Yeah that's better. Or let's not.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Betty, submit a budget, balanced would be preferred. This and MLB hearings, really not what we sent you to D.C. for.

rvm4
rvm4

While I don't agree with Nick that the Redskins name pays homage (it uses a stereotype of the warrior same as the Vikings), I do agree that this is none of Betty's business.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

How about we don't worry about "demeaning" names of teams. I am deeply offended by the Chicago White Sox, let's start there.

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

How about Betty shuts her trap? They're paying homage to the history of our country, not trying to disrespect the Native American culture. The FIGHTING SIOUX should have kept their name as well!

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@swmnguy Agree, the name is stupid. Still not the job of congress or the senate to dictate to a private enterprise what they have as a logo. 

We have a trillion dollar deficit, we are trillions in debt, yet no real budget. When will Betty and her compatriots start addressing the real issues instead of red herrings that only appeal to MB and the rest of the permenantly offended crowd.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@swmnguy  This is the type of issue that just proves what a bunch of racists conservatives are at heart.  Those names are just so obviously offensive and mean why not change them?   I just watch the state of North Dakota spend millions over a sports team name and I have to think Republicans are silly stupid people.  They should not be in charge of anything much less nuclear weapons. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Noah Hanson "The Old Norse feminine noun víking refers to an expedition overseas. It occurs in Viking Age runic inscriptions and in later medieval writings in set expressions such as the phrasal verb fara í víking "to go on an expedition". In later texts such as the Icelandic sagas, the phrase "to go on a viking" implies participation in raiding activity or piracy, and not simply seaborne missions of trade and commerce. The derived Old Norse masculine noun víkingr appears in Viking Age skaldic poetry and on several rune stones found in Scandinavia, where it refers to a seaman or warrior who takes part in an expedition overseas."   See Viking is an accurate and self applied term hence not offensive to a true Viking.  Redskin is a racial slur.  Native Americans are right to be offended a rich white asshole uses that offensive racial slur to make millions of dollars.   Obviously you aren't a true Viking if you think its a racial slur similar to redskin.   As a true and proud Viking I would throw you overboard as stupid sailors like you put the whole crew in danger.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland  Redskins is a racist team name and its embarrassing to be around in 2013.  It won't be around much longer because stupid racists like you have lost.  Everyone knows its wrong and the only people who want to keep it are bigots and idiots.   This is the perfect debate for Betty because she gets to take on the absolute dumbest people out there.  If you argue its not racist you sound stupid.  If you argue its history so its racist but thats ok you sound stupid.  If you argue it doesn't matter then why not change it.  It's one of those fish in the barrel issue that makes Republicans look stupid and racist.  The people of North Dakota spent millions of dollars fighting about a sports team name.  How stupid are they?   Keep pissing into the wind conservatives.  I'm sure this is the issue that will win women, Latinos, and young people over.  This issue is one of many that proves Republicans are nothing but stupid old white bigots.  Once again you are too cowardly to call out stupidity and racism among your fellow conservatives.  That's why you are heading for permanent minority status.  It's fish in a barrel for Betty.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Joe Strom Thank you for that Fatboy, the world's fattest super hero. 

freshfrank
freshfrank

@Nick Goers So a team whose name is a well known racial slur for Native Americans and that has no connection to Native communities or representation from them is somehow paying them homage? Maybe if Dan Snyder and the 'Skins were donating team earnings to Native communities and/or causes you could make something of a case, but not as the team or league is set up right now. 

rvm4
rvm4

Oh, and City Pages? Posting from an iPad to your site sucks hard.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@CinBlueland  Well, no, this isn't an issue that should rise to the federal level.  But really.  The Washington Bullets changed their name because there was a lot of crime in DC so the name was uncool.  "Wizards" is pretty lame, for sure.  What's wrong with "Washington Lobbyists?"  But at least they had the decency to think about their brand.

"Redskins" is in such bad taste it is kind of shocking to the sensibilities, though.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann That Ralph Engelstadt (sp?) arena in North Dakota is really something, isn't it?  He gave the money only if they never changed the name.  But he knew they probably would, so as an "F#$% You" he made sure there are thousands upon thousands of Sioux logos everywhere, in the bricks, all over.  When the tribes were finally asked (100 years late) if they minded their name being used without permission, then all of a sudden it's PC oppression that they don't want to be robbed of the last shred of dignity the white man cared about?  Sick stuff.

For people to pretend they can't understand why someone would take offense.  How about "Atlanta N@##ers?"  Or "New York K$kes?"  Or "University of Alabama Diabetic Fat-Ass Ignoramuses?"  Nobody would stand that for a minute.  But "Redskins" is a tradition we must preserve?  Right up there with human sacrifice, I'd say.  Call 'em the "Washington Imperialists," or "Washington War Pigs," or something else that glorifies the same kind of culture that likes "Redskins" as a team nae. 

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @CinBlueland Ahh, I love a white knight full of guilt. But again, This is not the purpose of our Congress/Senate or President.  If you don't like a name, petition/lobby the league. Please point out where it is the job of congress to legislate / create laws that protect individuals from being offended by another private party.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann You're starting to sound like the old Monty Python skit, but instead of being oppressed you're offended.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@swmnguy @CinBlueland Just to be clear, the Redskin name and logo are offensive. 

Not Betty's job! 

No worries, NSA is looking at your e-mails, No budget for the past 6 years.. Ya.. lets worry about what a sports team logo is.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@swmnguy How embarrassing is it that North Dakota agreed to his demands for that money.  Either they agreed with that old racist kook or they knew they were scamming an old man because the courts would let them keep the money.   In the end it wasn't much money to humiliate the university and make them easy to make fun of for 50 years or so.   Plus what a horrible person must Ralph Engelstadt must be.  He only gives to charity if he can do it in a racist manner.  Doesn't surprise me a North Dakota graduate loves racism more than his Alma Mater.  See how easy it is to mock those dumb racist Sioux fans?  Have fun in your small conference.  The Big 10 champion Golden Gophers will no longer lower themselves so you can pretend to be our "rivals."   We play real teams from real schools like Michigan and Wisconsin.  We will now win Big 10 championships which are much more impressive than whatever dumb league you are in. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland So are you denying you say racist things  in the comment section?   Don't you think its relevant that a racist like you is telling people this isn't a big deal and Betty shouldn't worry about it?   A proven racist like you  would have lots of shady motives for wanting to keep a racist team name.  I'm not going to let you trash Betty and pretend you haven't said racist things in the past.  People should know you are nothing but a whining phony racist who is lying about his true motives.  

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann@CinBluelandMB, you're almost a caricature of hyper sensitive, white knight, liberal guilt. 

I've tried to be semi-reasonable with you, but jeesh.. If I ordered my coffee black you'd be up in arms about my racism. 

I think the only reason you're still allowed to post on here is Aaron's hardon with anything Bachmann related.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland You do know that when you like racist comments and say racist things like you do it means people don't really care what you have to say about an issue like this.  I mean you are a racist, it clouds your judgement.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland At least you aren't denying your racist past anymore.  Why don't you apologize for crying crocodile tears.   You are attacking Betty because you are scared an effective smart Congresswoman like her will get something done.  Stop whining and lying.  You like the team name because you are a racist, lying about your true motives is pathetic.  

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @CinBlueland So attacking those who are weight challenged is OK? You didn't talk about his comment, you attacked his weight. 

There is really no reasoning with the liberal mind.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@CinBlueland You say racist things on one story and then pretend you aren't a racist on another story.  You can't have it both ways cowardly Cin.  Your constant whining in the protection of racists makes you sound both stupid and cowardly.  

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