Was RGIII ‘Tyranny’ Tweet Aimed at Efforts To Change Redskins’ Name?

May 1, 2013 10:22am

It is not exactly clear what Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III (aka RGIII) was referring to when he sent a frustrated tweet about political correctness Tuesday afternoon.

But one possible explanation has to do with the decades-long effort to make his team’s name and its distinctive logo featuring a Native American with feathers in his hair  more politically correct. From Redskins to Red Tails?

Here’s what RGIII tweeted:

He later added:

The Red Tails idea, proposed by D.C. City Councilmember David Grosso, would urge the team to alter the team name that has long been considered as derogatory to Native Americans and make it an homage to the Tuskeegee Airman, the barrier-breaking World War II African American aviation unit.

Over the decades-long debate over the Redskins name, the team has argued it honors Native American heritage.

The Redskins don’t even play in Washington any more – they train in nearby Virginia and play in nearby Maryland – but they’re still the team from Washington. The city council doesn’t have the ability to force the team to change its name.

A more painful enticement for the Redskins could come from Congress or the Federal court that oversees U.S. trademarks.

A three-judge panel for the court in Alexandria, Virginia heard arguments last month in a case brought by 5 18 year-old Native Americans that the name is offensive and therefore not eligible for a trademark.

The court might not rule for a year, but if they voided the Redskins trademark, it could cost the team a lot of money.

A bill to strip the team of its Trademark has also been introduced  with the support of D.C.’s delegate in Congress, although it is not clear when or if it will get a vote.

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