After intense pressure from the PCP (Politically Correct Police) failed to convince the owner of the Washington Redskins NFL football team to drop the 80-year-old name “Redskins,” the U.S. Patent Review Board, at the urging of folks like Barack Obama and Harry Reid, revoked the patent for the team’s name, citing its belief that the term “Redskins” was “disparaging” to native Americans. Never mind the fact that surveys shows that 90 percent of American Indians express no problem with the name, and the fact that the team’s name was changed from “Braves” to “Redskins” in 1933 when the team hired as its coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, who happened to be an American Indian who had played football at the Carlisle School for Indians - the same school attended by American Indian Olympic hero Jim Thorpe - and who apparently liked the name. Lone Star also designed the team’s new 1933 uniforms with an Indian’s head on the jerseys.
The decision from the patent office to deprive the team of its patent rights, in effect, frees just about anyone to use the name “Redskins” without fear of patent infringement and, by doing so, to “disparage” all the American Indians the board sought to protect from this alleged smear.
I don’t think the movement to not offend anybody should stop with the Redskins. The names Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians need to go, too. The Cleveland Browns sounds pretty racist and since panthers are black, the Carolina Panthers need to become less racist too. Maybe the Chicago White Sox need to change their name to the Chicago Chartreuse Sox. The Boston Red Sox may end up with the same troubles as the Redskins. It remains to be seen.
What about the New York Yankees? Doesn’t that name offend sensitive Southerners? Do you think a team could ever get away with being named, say, the Atlanta Confederates?
And what about separation of church and sports? How can non-Catholics be expected to tolerate teams like the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres?
And how about the problems of crime and violence? The names Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates simply send the wrong message to society, unless you support rape, pillaging and plundering.
And the Milwaukee Brewers send the wrong message about an intoxicating substance. Someone at Alcoholic Anonymous will most certainly be offended by that one.
So, let’s get the U.S. Patent Review Board back on the trail. Every American deserves to be protected from being offended by anybody. It must be in the Constitution somewhere.
Ronald B. Elder, M.D.