September 04, 2014

"Redskins" dying by paper cuts

A blizzard of news this week suggests how much trouble the "Redskins" name faces. Whether Dan Snyder realizes it or not, the name is on its way out.

Loss of income

Redskins gear stiff-armed by fansThe furor has had an impact. Sales of Redskins items plunged 35% in the most recent quarter, despite a 3% rise in sales of NFL merchandise overall, according to SportsSourceOne, a service that tracks licensed merchandise sales nationwide.Washington has everything to lose

By keeping his team's nickname, Daniel Snyder is pouring money down the drain[As Snyder] fights to maintain that identity, his team keeps falling further from the financial performance and connection with fans that you'd expect from an NFL team with monopoly rights to the nation's capital.Potential lawsuit

Redskins group infringes on NARF trademark Legal counsel representing NARF have sent cease-and-desist letters demanding a halt to this infringement on a website misappropriating its “NARF” trademark, and reserving NARF’s rights to take legal action.Pressure on advertisers

New Anti-Redskins Video Says FedEx ‘Embraces Racism’Native Voice Network (NVN), a coalition of more than 25 Native American organizations, commissioned 1491s' Ryan Redcorn to write and produce the clip aptly titled, “FedEx Fail.”FedEx Still Hasn’t Stopped Sponsoring Washington’s Football Team. This Smart Ad Takes Them to Task.In an ad commissioned by the Native Voice Network called "FedEx Fail," a would-be FedEx customer is turned away when trying to ship a variety of items while wearing several different offensive costumes. But when he returns in [Redacted] gear and a cheap headdress, things change. "You are in luck," the Native American clerk tells the customer. "We at FedEx are Washington Redskins corporate sponsors! We embrace this sort of racism!"Money talks in Redskins debate

Corporate sponsor pressure might alter Daniel Snyder's stance on mascot nameThere is one untapped sector, one outlet that speaks the language of everyone in a decision-making position on this issue. If so moved, corporate sponsors of the league and team could threaten a direct outcome unmatched by legal avenues or political pressure: Lost revenue.

Pressure on broadcasters

Change the Mascot & Coalition of More Than 100 Groups Urge Radio and TV Broadcasters to Cease Use of Washington Team’s Disparaging R-word Name on AirwavesThe letter, co-signed by over 100 leading Native American, religious and civil rights organizations, is going out to reporters at national news networks, as well as thousands of reporters who cover sports in cities which have NFL teams.ADL joins plea to broadcasters to abjure ‘Redskins’“Every time the slur is promoted on the public airwaves even in a non-critical way by a journalist, it is an endorsement of the continued use of this slur.”Major newspapers ban name

Sack the name

The Daily News will no longer refer to the Washington professional football team by its unacceptable nicknameHenceforth, in The News’ sports coverage, the team that has been known as the Redskins since 1933 will simply be called Washington.N.Y. Daily News disavows ‘Redskins’—and the team’s logo, to bootIn an editorial with the headline, “Sack the name,” The Daily News said that the Redskins’ logo “depicting a feathered Native American has been replaced with an image that uses the team’s maroon and yellow colors to key readers to stories, columns and statistics relating to Washington.”Washington Post editorial board stops using the word ‘Redskins’The Washington Post editorial board said Friday that it will stop using the word “Redskins” when referring to Washington’s football team, joining a growing list of commentators who have renounced the term because they believe it disparages Native Americans.Broadcast license challenged

Dan Snyder's Broadcast License Challenged Over Redskins; Faces FCC FilingA formal legal opposition has been filed with the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] opposing the renewal of the broadcast license of station WWXX-FM, serving the greater D.C. metro area from Buckland, Virginia, and owned through Red Zebra Broadcasting by Dan Snyder, who is also the owner of D.C.'s NFL football team, the Washington "Redskins.""Redskins" License Challenge at FCC Raises Novel IssuesThe formal legal petition to the FCC, opposing the renewal of the broadcast license of Snyder-owned station WWXX-FM because of its on-air use of the "racial slur" "Redskins," poses a number of novel legal challenges, and the manner in which they are presented may finally force the agency to address at least some of them, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.Declining public support

Redskins poll: Most favor name; dissent growsNearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans surveyed now think the name should be changed, up from 8 percent in 1992 and up 9 percentage points in the past year alone.Other

All that is in addition to the usual commentaries from editorials and columnists. For instance:

Redskins face ever-increasing pressure over name as NFL season beginsOne of the biggest stories of the NFL off-season doesn't appear to be going away now that the real games are finally starting.As well as politicians, coaches and players, and others denouncing the name:

NFL Greats Visit Reservations; Speak Out Against ‘Redskins’[T]wo former NFL players are coming at the debate from a position of respect, and their visits to Native reservations helped guide their perspective on the issue.And announcers refusing to say it on the air:

Report: ESPN’s Lisa Salters will not say ‘Redskins’ this seasonAdd ESPN’s Lisa Salters to the growing number of media members who will not be using the term “Redskins” this NFL season.Clearly, Dan Snyder is dying by dint of a thousand paper cuts. How long till he realizes that changing the name is the only way out?

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