May 28, 2008

"Redmen" = Sambo

Professor:  Redmen name could bring law suits"It is not so much discrimination against an individual student, but accommodation in a public venue," Siegel said, citing a 1999 Harvard Law Review article titled, "A Public Accommodations Challenge to the Use of Indian Team Names and Mascots in Professional Sports."

Siegel noted that the name Redmen appears in a few places at the NHS football field, including on the scoreboard and the pressbox. If someone attending a game, whether a student, a resident or someone else, is offended by the use of the name that could be considered discrimination under Title II.
Why Natick High School might lose:In a similar case in a neighboring state, a restaurant called Sambo's was sued by a group that believed the name was offensive.

"At a restaurant in Rhode Island the name was offensive to some African-Americans and the court agreed and they had to change the name," Siegel said. "The intent (of offending someone) is not important. If people are offended they are offended, it doesn't matter if people meant to offend them."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

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