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Old 06-25-2014, 11:01 PM  
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Woman behind the Redskins name change says the Chiefs should be on guard

The fight took a monumental shift at a protest nine years at Arrowhead Stadium and it’s about to come full circle. No matter what you think of the issue, it will soon be ubiquitous in and around Kansas City’s greatest obsession other than barbecue.

The Chiefs are aware of it, and are preparing accordingly.


Back in 2005, a group calling itself Not In Our Honor protested before the Chiefs played Washington. The protesters were predominately American Indians, united in their anger over what they perceived as offensive stereotypes passed off as nicknames for sports teams. An older woman, Suzan Harjo, one of the leaders of the protest, met a younger woman named Amanda Blackhorse, then a student at Kansas.
They bonded over their passion for the issue, and that’s how the case known as Blackhorse et al v. Pro-Football Inc. came to be. Last week the plaintiffs prevailed when the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademarks of the Washington Redskins.


The case is under appeal, but you should know that the woman who took on and (at least for the moment) defeated the corporate entity that owns Washington’s NFL team would like to see the same type of case brought against the Chiefs.
As she says, the spark that started back in 2005 at Arrowhead has created a fire that will probably soon return.


“What happens there, it’s just insane the things they allow to go on,” Blackhorse says of the Chiefs and Arrowhead. “They are definitely in the group (of offensive teams), for sure.”


For now, the Chiefs are publicly silent on this. But they know the fight is likely coming, and they hope a few things work in their favor — most notably that it’s tough to compare their nickname with the one in Washington that is a dictionary-defined racial slur. Blackhorse’s group has also protested baseball’s Cleveland Indians, and that team has greatly scaled back its use of the cartoonish Chief Wahoo logo.


The Chiefs have similarly scaled back some of their more obvious plays on Indian stereotypes, and they hope they have some other advantages when the fight comes. The team is named after H. Roe Bartle, the mayor who was key in Kansas City landing the team from Dallas in 1962. Bartle’s nickname was “The Chief.”


The team stopped using a man dressed in traditional headgear as a mascot during pregame festivities many years ago. In the early 1990s, many of the Chiefs’ defensive players posed for a poster that today both looks absolutely ridiculous and would never be recreated.
The team does, however, play the tomahawk chop during games and welcomes fans in headgear and other stereotypes of Native American dress.


Those are some of the parts of the game day experience that Blackhorse calls “insane,” and why she expects a fight that’s gaining momentum and support nationally to come to Kansas City.


She knows that the vast majority of Chiefs fans will oppose her, but she also knows that the vast majority of fans in Washington opposed her, as well.


She says there is “no middle ground with this issue,” that once an ethnic group is used as a nickname for a sports team, the people in that ethic group lose control of their identity and humanity.


“I don’t want people to think I’m going around pointing fingers, like, ‘You’re a racist, you’re a racist, you’re a racist,’ ” she says. “That’s not the point. The point is we’re offended. You can love Native Americans to death. You can have admiration, love what we do, how we are, whatever, and still (hijack) our culture without understanding it that way.”


Wherever you stand on this issue, there is no denying that Blackhorse’s side is making progress. Teams are sensitive to and aware of perpetuating stereotypes so much more than in the past, in response to public sentiment.


The issue is further complicated by context, that this is a fight centered around Indians, who make up about 1 percent of the nation’s population and who, in Blackhorse’s words, “are invisible sometimes to people.”
That makes getting the message out a bit more difficult. A group of people that feels offended by widespread stereotyping isn’t big enough to get critical mass on its own.


That’s why Blackhorse says the movement needs the help of non-Indians, and part of why she’s so encouraged by developments in Congress and with the trademark case.


There is a lot of momentum here, which can be dangerous for teams like the Chiefs that will likely soon find themselves directly in the fight.
“I’m not sure there’s anything the (Chiefs) can do at this point other than look for another name,” Blackhorse says. “They could be the team that says, ‘You know what? We understand the issue and we don’t want to be Dan Snyder and fight this in court forever. We want to do the right thing and move forward and avoid this entire battle.’ I’m sure fans will be upset, but still, that’s doing the right thing.


“If they want to be sensitive to Native American people, that’s the thing to do.”

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Old 06-30-2014, 12:44 PM   #661
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #662
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:02 PM   #663
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:22 PM   #664
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In a letter to fans Monday night, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced he had established an organization dedicated to providing aid and assistance to Native Americans.

The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation aims to “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities,” Snyder wrote.

“With open arms and determined minds, we will work as partners to begin to tackle the troubling realities facing so many tribes across our country,” Snyder said of the organization, which will be unveiled on Tuesday.

In the letter, Snyder said he visited 26 tribal reservations in a four-month period.

“The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community,” Snyder said. “In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.”

The organization distributed more than 3,000 coats this winter, Snyder said. More than 40 other projects are in the works, he said.

Of his trip to visit the tribes, Snyder wrote: “I wanted and needed to hear firsthand what Native Americans truly thought of our name, our logo, and whether we were, in fact, upholding the principle of respect in regard to the Native American community.”

In the letter, he referenced a discussion he had with Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuila Indians Chairwoman Mary L. Resvaloso, who told him that “(there) are Native Americans everywhere that 100 percent support the name.”

With regard to the Redskins’ name, Snyder said he “(believes) even more firmly now” that it should remain unchanged. The name “captures the best of who we are and who we can be,” Snyder wrote.

“I’ve been encouraged by the thousands of fans across the country who support keeping the Redskins tradition alive. Most — by overwhelming majorities — find our name to be rooted in pride for our shared heritage and values,” Snyder said in his letter Monday.

On Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about opposition to the name, which doesn’t figure to fade away even as Snyder digs in on the issue.

“We have, I think, done a very thorough job of making sure that we understand all perspectives on this and we will continue to do that,” Goodell said.

There have numerous public calls for the Redskins to change their name, with pressure even coming from multiple members of Congress.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:25 PM   #665
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:46 PM   #666
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With regard to the Redskins’ name, Snyder said he “(believes) even more firmly now” that it should remain unchanged. The name “captures the best of who we are and who we can be,” Snyder wrote.
Yeah, it's pretty clear Snyder isn't changing a damn thing voluntarily. Redskins isn't going anywhere...
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:48 PM   #667
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:54 PM   #668
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Yeah, it's pretty clear Snyder isn't changing a damn thing voluntarily. Redskins isn't going anywhere...
He doesn't have the leverage..

FOX has a lot.

The other 31 owners have almost all.

And you never know.. A liberal state like Washington might try something.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:00 PM   #669
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And you never know.. A liberal state like Washington might try something.
State?
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:07 PM   #670
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State?
As in the state of Washington or the city of Seattle tries to prevent the team from playing at CenturyLink.

But you're correct in saying the most likely government body to try something would be the city of D.C.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:07 PM   #671
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State?
They're north of Oregon and almost Canadian but, yeah, they still count...
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:15 PM   #672
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As in the state of Washington or the city of Seattle tries to prevent the team from playing at CenturyLink.

But you're correct in saying the most likely government body to try something would be the city of D.C.
Oh. I was thinking DC.

Redskins are in DC.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #673
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Well, if the indians and obama and all the other petty whiners get their way and change the name of the team,,,,PLEASE PLEASE for the sake of all things holy change the dam colors from red and yellow to something less gay.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:39 PM   #674
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Well, if the indians and obama and all the other petty whiners get their way and change the name of the team,,,,PLEASE PLEASE for the sake of all things holy change the dam colors from red and yellow to something less gay.
The NFL's marketing department will do a study and find that their preferred female market would love to have a team with a Breast Cancer Awareness color theme.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:40 PM   #675
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State?
State of confusion it seems.
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