Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


June 20, 2014

Morgan: You never know who might be offended by a team mascot

Corsicana — The U.S. Patent office has voided the Washington Redskins’ trademark on the name Redskins.

Obviously, Congress is an outdated, useless institution since they seem to be bypassed every other day.

The patent office tried this in 1999, but the Washington entry in the NFL sued in federal court and won. They expect to do so again.

However, if the patent office action is upheld, then all sorts of team mascots could be in danger. Lots of them could be offensive to someone.

 What’s that? You’d like some examples. I thought you’d never ask.

How about the offensive name of the NFL team down in Houston? Sure, you may have never thought that the name Texans could be offensive, but it certainly might be.

Just think how hurtful that name is to the residents of the 49 other states. Why hurt the egos of those who aren’t Texans?    

  It’s not their fault that they have to live in North Dakota or New Hampshire now is it? How would you like going to Europe and having to say you’re a “Michiganian?”

Let’s consider the Steeler mascot. That has got to offend residents who have migrated from the planet Krypton.

Obviously, the Pittsburgh crew has appropriated their name from the “Men of Steel” who can leap tall buildings in a single bound and fly faster than a speeding bullet. Do the footballers from western Pennsylvania think they’re the only ones who believe in, “Truth, Justice and the American Way?”

Then we have the New Orleans Saints. In the era when we have gotten Christmas carols and prayer out of our schools, the Ten Commandments out of our courthouses and nativity scenes off the public lawn, how could the NFL offend the atheists with a nickname like “Saints?” Maybe they could at least compromise somewhere in the middle to say agnosticism.

They could be the New Orleans “Maybe there is or maybe there isn’ts.”

Outside of the NFL, we find other examples of things offensive to Native Americans.

Those are obvious. You have the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Florida Seminoles, but what about here in our own backyard. Think about our Texas Rangers.

Let’s test your historical knowledge. Why did Stephen F. Austin form the first company of Texas Rangers? It was to fight the Native Americans. In fact, the Rangers drove out the Comanches. Offensive? I’ll let you decide.

Wouldn’t the term Patriot offend the anti-war crowd? What must PETA think of Cowboys who came into being by driving those poor longhorn cattle up the Chisholm Trail to be slaughtered?

The Viking logo appropriates the symbol of the Norseman. Does that offend Scandinavians? Since both Pirates and Buccaneers operated outside the law, couldn’t that offend Chicago politicians?

Couldn’t the term Giants offend both “little people” and the obese? And, just what is a Knickerbocker? Wouldn’t Georgia Fighting Bulldogs offend dog lovers everywhere who defend the often misunderstood “Pitties or Pit Bulls?”

The Green Bay Packer name came from the fact that the original sponsor of the Lambeau denizens was a meat packing company.

How does that make our vegetarian brethren feel? Does the name Edmonton Oilers enflame the passions of the global warming crowd? Do the Arizona Cardinals offend our Roman Catholic neighbors? That’s not much different than calling them the Popes or the Franciscans, now is it?

If Redskins is a name offensive to Native Americans, then couldn't the team name Browns hurt the feelings of those who use tanning beds to excess?

Why should the federal government be the final arbiter of all things appropriate? If the name is truly offensive, the free market will let Daniel Snyder know when people boycott the Washington football games, and refuse to by their logo-ed merchandise. I’m fine with the NFL making the call on the mascot.

The NFL makes decisions all the time based on free market values. Hopefully, the federal government has better things to worry about like Iraq, jobs, economic recovery and/or Lois Lerner’s lost emails.

The public will let the NFL and the Washington Redskins know what is acceptable and what’s not. If the feds have their way, locals in the nation’s capital could wind up cheering for the Washington Bureaucrats. Now, that’s scary.

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