Betty McCollum calls on Zygi Wilf to publicly condemn Redskins nickname

WilfmcCollum.jpg
McCollum to Wilf: "The time for debate has ended -- the name of the Washington franchise is clearly an offensive racial slur."
One surprising revelation in Chris Kluwe's nuclear account of alleged homophobia within the Vikings organization is that Zygi Wilf is actually a staunch supporter of gay rights.

Kluwe wrote that before a September 2012 game, right as the marriage amendment he was so outspoken in opposing was becoming a huge political issue in Minnesota, Wilf approached him and said, "Chris, I'm proud of what you've done. Please feel free to keep speaking out. I just came from my son's best friend's wedding to his partner in New York, and it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen." (The results of the Vikings' investigation into Kluwe's allegations are set to be revealed next week, so stay tuned for more on that story soon.)

See also:
The Twins once had a racist owner too, and his statue stands outside Target Field

Wilf didn't make comments of that sort publicly at the time, but in the wake of the Washington Redskins having their trademark canceled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week, Rep. Betty McCollum is asking Zygi to lend his voice to the cause of another marginalized group.

"Mr. Wilf, I believe you are a man of integrity," McCollum, co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, writes in a letter she sent to Wilf yesterday. "Therefore I am calling upon you to publicly demonstrate leadership on behalf of your organization and the people of Minnesota by adding your voice to the millions of Americans who are calling for this racist mascot to be changed and for Native Americans to be treated with respect and dignity by the NFL."

While one might argue that the Washington, D.C., franchise's team name isn't Wilf's business, the fact is a revenue-sharing agreement among all NFL teams (minus the Dallas Cowboys) means it literally is. All organizations benefit when Redskins merchandise is sold, and, by extension, stand to lose if the trademark nullification (not to mention all the negative PR) hurts the D.C. football team's bottom line.

"After [the patent] 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," McCollum, who has long led the congressional effort to get rid of the Redskins team name, writes. "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."

Despite the Patent and Trademark Office's decision, the legal battle over the Redskins name could drag on for years thanks to the appeals process. In a legal analysis published on SI.com, Michael McCann, founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, writes that while "in theory, the Redskins and their owner, Daniel Snyder, could lose millions of dollars as a result of the cancellation," the reality is existing licensing contracts and other state-level legal protections for the team's trademarks means "significant adverse economic impact on the Redskins does not occur immediately."

Meanwhile, in comments made to the Star Tribune, Vikings VP Lester Bagley said, "We have a large Native American population in Minnesota and we're sensitive to their concerns," but didn't go as far as to say Wilf would meet McCollum's demand.

To read McCollums's full letter, click to page two.


My Voice Nation Help
77 comments
Jarrett Allen
Jarrett Allen

yes, i use the term "butthurt" towards this generation, everyone gets offended about everything, one person doesnt like something, they feel this self entitlement that since they dont like it, it needs to be changed, does anyone listen to the natives who actually appreciates the team name Redskins? They dont see it as "Racist" they see it as honoring their people, but nope everyone just deems it racist even tho its not being used in a racist way #inbredgeneration

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

time for complaining was 50 years ago. they should be honored to have a team named after them. wasnt like they set out to piss people off. you got your casinos thats cheating the govt out of millions in taxes. so shut the hell up and be happy. cant help it if some idiot decided to trade his land for beads and trinkets, but it wasnt us and it wasnt them. sick of our generationbeing blamed for stuff generations in past did. and being blamed by the current generation for somthing they didnt have done to them. i say GO REDSKINS!!

Bernard Shakey
Bernard Shakey

What is even more ridiculous is when people use the term 'butthurt'.

Shawn Poole
Shawn Poole

It's a name you fucking douchebags who cares

Waterstyle Sixonetwo
Waterstyle Sixonetwo

Zygi's too busy counting his money from the stadium deal that no one got a chance to vote on but are expected to pay for.

Chris Hiatt
Chris Hiatt

You know what's offensive Betty? Invading countries and killing men, women, and children with drone strikes. How bout you focus on that.

Brendan Lama
Brendan Lama

This is the stupidest shit. Thousands of better things to spend time and energy on than this bs.

Rich Maddox
Rich Maddox

How about the Los angelos spics or the Portland gooks? Is redskins really any different?

3D Greens of Minnesota
3D Greens of Minnesota

redskin goes back to the time when money was offered for the scalps of dead Native Americans...thus the term redskin...

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

So tyler, michael and jackson... racism is ok if the person is doing well?

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

Native Americans. Please stop using the racist "Indians" term.

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

Dan, you are no likely a judgemental holier than thou snit. How can you not see the importance of people being allowed to have their own opinion? Oh, and the privilege comment is thinly veiled hate.

Ryan Schoen
Ryan Schoen

Not at all. Get off Washingtons nutz!

Steve Woodward
Steve Woodward

I don't live in minnesota yet fan for 40 years but you lady need to find a hobby. Maybe he doesn't find the name offensive. Vikings have done more wrong in history but no one is arguing that fact. People need to grow up and quit having such think skin. Dont like something don't support it. People need to grow up

Chris Coffman
Chris Coffman

Change the name of Cracker Barrel....it is offensive....it should be called Honky Barrel!!!

Christopher Jon McAninch
Christopher Jon McAninch

Well I am a Norwegian. If I were a jerk I might find the term "Vikings" offensive. But I don't. (Unless there is some money in it.)

Craig Jensen
Craig Jensen

They should change the name to the Washington Whiteskins

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

Enough of this ever increasing pressure to be politically correct With all the crap in the Obama Administration going on - and yes I voted for him twice and consider myself a liberal-politicians should stick to politics, not putting their noses into private business when no crimes have been committed

Justin Irvine
Justin Irvine

I think its funny that when people say "Redskins, no one thinks of an indian. they almost immediately jump to thinking of the football team.

Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson

People honestly believe this doesn't offend Native Americans, then when a Native speaks out they say "get over it" or "grow thicker skin" because apparently they want to honor us by having a team named the Redskins. There are multiple levels of stupid there.

Jarrett Allen
Jarrett Allen

its all about context, read your history and you will find out the ORIGINAL context of what redskin means, everyone just thinks of the time when Natives were being oppressed, the redskin word came from the time when whites and redskins were becoming a community, and it was said with honor at the most high, not to put one down, the team name redskin is not being used in a negative way, a majority of natives dont even care, this butthurt generation is getting ridiculous

Rob Chapman
Rob Chapman

this needs to go away...google "vikings" we live in a state that takes pride in the name at the same time is populated with scandanavian heritage...depending on what source is accurate the "Vikings" raided and pillaged as well we just seem to look away at that one

Robert Campbell
Robert Campbell

Cultural Marxism or Cultural Bolshevism (degenerate culture) seeks to destroy everything good about a society, what holds it together, what helps it to advance, what promotes intelligence and beauty. It seeks to degenerate society and take it to a lower form where people are less intelligent and more animal. It's based on the Marixst lie that everything good about society is all a form of oppression. Every time anyone promotes cultural marxism, they use the same line claiming it is about freeing people from oppression. These common cultural marxist themes all are promoted by the same lie that they are done in the name of freedom: liberalism, sexual perversion, degenerate art, degenerate music, mass immigration, anti-intelligence and promotion of people acting like animals, corrupted versions of feminism, multiculturalism, marijuana, oppressing people of european-ancestry, and destroying nationalism, and destroying non-jewish-religion. Cultural Marxism is largely a synthesis of Marx and Freud. It is Marxism as applied in the cultural sphere and the analysis and control of the media, art, theatre, film and other cultural institutions in society, often with an emphasis on class, race and gender. As a form of political analysis, Cultural Marxism gained strength in the 1920s, and was the model used by a group of intellectuals in Germany known as the Frankfurt School; and later by another group of intellectuals at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, England. The fields of Cultural Studies and Critical theory are rooted in and influenced by work of Cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxism is formulated as a way to subvert European nations and civilization using methods other than direct political action. William S. Lind, Patrick J. Buchanan and others state that Cultural Marxists seek to control society by manipulating language, media, and academia by way of political correctness by employing the Frankfurt School's "Critical theory." Europhobia and demographic genocide are a major focus of Cultural Marxism.

George Adam
George Adam

Every identity group seems to have habitual offense takers. Often I am not sure what they seek other than an excuse to act offended and toss insults.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

This country, hell most of this planet was founded by drunk rapists. That's what they did back then. They drank and they fucked. Haven't you people learned anything from the Wildlings on The Game of Thrones? That shit really happened. You know nothing John Snow.

Robert Campbell
Robert Campbell

Dan Sheldon, you are clearly a Non-Straight, liberal Marxist, entitled, snobby, Minnetonka rich White - boy who's only experience with struggling is Which hi - end store to shop at, or which all - organic potato to shove down your throat! Know your history Mr. Marxist, the Redman called himself such, thus, where the term white man came from. The Natives endured much and still do. Each Man and woman on earth has their own struggles. I am proud of my heritage, and I accept the mistakes of my White European Forefathers, but, that doesn't mean that I will bow down to Cultural Marxism and forget my own Cultural identity, so that others can feel better of themselves. To forget the past is only a means to forget your own Culture, your own identity, or your own Struggle!

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

That's such a shitty argument, there will always be important issues we face as a culture and there are ALWAYS conflicts and problems. But to say something is "more important" or just because other things are simultaneously offensive so we shouldn't spend any time or energy correcting this is so pathetic and lazy. And that's nice that you might know a few Native folks that aren't offended by it, but it doesn't make it less racist. There were black folks IN minstrel shows that doesn't mean the behavior wasn't racist. Let's stop pretending the Oneida and Yocha Dehe Wintun and Nat'l congress of American Indians hasn't been leading this push.....

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

Yes Mel, if only the people has the ability to handle multiple issues at the same time! We can't care about Native Americans, the War in Iraq AND the light rail. That's just crazy.

Marlena Myles
Marlena Myles

Yes, Natives are offended by chief wahoo, who is being phased out by Cleveland, anyway. Doing it without making a big moronic scene like Dan Synder. ;)

Marlena Myles
Marlena Myles

Actually, most do find it offensive. The trademark lawsuit was brought on by Natives, the Oneida nation has been after them, the National Congress of American Indians have been after them for decades too. But it's nice to have non-Natives understanding the issue too, considering how there's only a few million Natives left in this country.

Dan Sheldon
Dan Sheldon

Robert Campbell You are no doubt a straight, white male living with priviledge and clearly have no concept of what it's truly like to struggle. Instead of closing yourself off to the realities of others' strife please put someone else's shoes on and walk in them for a day. Then, and only then, should you comment on topic. How can you not see the importance of a fight like this one?

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Unlike you, most other humans can multi-task. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Yes - and let's start with you. Grow up by learning to write proper English. P.S. You capitalize Minnesota. 


MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

I'm sure you have a lot of REAL issues that need dealing with - how about starting there?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

JOHN BUNCH DEMANDS A TRAVEL SIZED HAM FOR SNACKING!!!!  DEAL WITH THE REAL ISSUES!!!!!!

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Really? You don't see the difference between the names Redskins and Vikings. Really? 

yoopie93
yoopie93

So many words typed and so much time wasted on writing a comment that only serves to make me think that you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about.  But I do trust in your ability to cut and paste from Wikipedia.  And naturally, none of it is relevant at all to the fact that a football team is using a nickname that is clearly offensive to many people.  Try looking up the Wikipedia entry for "incoherent."

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Thanks for showing us what happens when a person takes a couple sociology classes but lacks the cognitive ability to understand what he/she is hearing.  

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Robert Campbell !!!  you are the dumbest mother fucker ever - native americans did not call themselves 'redman' as they didnt speak the language so they would have never been saying that ...ever


fuck off and die you facebook fucker

Jeff55414
Jeff55414

Yes, because changing the Redskins name is going to automatically end meth addiction, rampant alcoholism, terrible education, and widespread poverty that plagues that community. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Jeff55414 No it's not, but it's a step in the right direction.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...