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Legally Over, Morally Just Beginning

Redskin.

It is a term that has been creating controversy for so long amongst the Native American and football communities. The term, "Redskin", was traditionally used by european settlers and invaders to describe Native Americans who were skinned and burnt at a stake. However, "Redskin", is also a term that resonates with football fans across the nation as being synonymous with tradition and lure in Washington D.C.

One word. Two different meanings. Who's correct?

After years of appeal, struggle, argument, and polls, the United States Court of Appeals finally ruled in favor of tradition. The tradition being in favor of the Washington Redskins football team.

Yours truly has touched base on this issue in the past regarding the use of the term as a team name, and it's respect for the native American community and Indian Country (A Missing Ingredient in the Melting Pot). After a seventeen year long dispute between Indian Country and the Washington Redskins, the issue can be put to rest.

Well, sort of.

Washington Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder, and his organization won the case based on copyright laws. The Redskins, who have owned, patented, and trademarked the phrase since 1967, never had any cases brought before them based on the controversial name until 1984. Not one. Not even from Indian Country.

The case was then ruled in favor of the Washington Redskins based on the statue of time.

The judge ruled that the case's decision was not based on "the larger issue of 'appropriateness of Native American imagery for team names.'"

Although correct in her judgment in regards to the law and this trial, her quote alone is cold, and full of hopelessness.

The court's decision was then uphelded in the U.S. Court of Appeals by a three judge panel, crushing any real chance in the future of having the name removed as an NFL entity.

Following the trial, Washington Redskins attorney, Bob Raskopf stated:

"Millions have been spent on the Redskins brand and the team would have suffered great economic loss if they lost the trademark registrations. I'ts a great day for the Redskins and their fans and their owner Dan Snyder. The time when the case could have been brought was 1967. So it's not going to get any easier for anybody to bring the case now"


Legally? He's correct. Morally? That is another issue.

Somehow, some way, this is issue is far from being over.

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