To the editor:
Starting this year, the Washington Redskins mascot’s moniker has been under relentless siege. Slings and arrows have been aimed at it by D.C.’s mayor — while dangling a possible stadium deal — and by American Indians at a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office trial and appeal board hearing.
District Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced revoking legislation in Congress while three former FCC commissioners labeled it as “indecent.” The most recent attack comes from at-large D.C. City Councilor David Grosso, who finds the appellation “derogatory” and “racist.” Grosso, with the support of the majority of his colleagues, is introducing a nonbinding resolution to change the team’s name to the Redtails in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen.
But wait — that term also denotes, among a list of other connotations, a North American bird of prey. That’s not exactly the image any entity representing this nation’s capital may want to project given recent U.S. escapades abroad. It also is a nickname for Northwest Airlines, making its adoption a possible invitation for future intellectual property litigation.
All of this, and we are still in the offseason.
– Karen Ann DeLuca