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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 25, 2013 - 8:17 am

A Minnesota congresswoman is pleading with her home state to not display any symbol or hint of the Washington Redskins’ name inside the Metrodome when they play the Vikings on Nov. 7.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) directed her request to Gov. Mark Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson, co-chairs of the state Senate Legislative Committee on Minnesota Sports Facilities Bobby Joe Champion and Julie Rosen, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, City Council president Barbara Johnson, and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen.

“As you are aware, the Washington team is a privately owned business that chooses to use the disparaging and demeaning brand ‘Redskins’ as their mascot,” McCollum wrote. “In my view this NFL team’s mascot is an unacceptable racial slur disparaging to Native Americans and offensive to Minnesotans.

The congresswoman argued that since the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is financed by taxpayers it has “legal obligations” to ensure no one is offended.

“With regard to the NFL game on November 7th, it would be my hope that all state statutes, ordinances of the City of Minneapolis, and policies of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) regarding civil rights, non-discrimination, and affirmative action would be fully reviewed and applied with regard to displaying, publicly announcing, and promoting the Washington team’s racially disparaging name and logo.”

McCollum added that she’s read news reports that “the MSFA may have concerns about limiting the use of the Washington team’s name and logo, as requested by some Native American groups, due to contractual obligations with the NFL.”

“Such concerns should never trump the civil rights and anti-discrimination laws, ordinances, and policies of government bodies charged with defending and advancing the public interest,” she declared.

“The NFL and the owner of Washington’s football team have a right to free speech. Constitutional protections allow them to offend, degrade, and disparage any race, ethic [sp] group, religion, or person of any sexual orientation with their private funds within private spaces,” McCollum continued. “But the people of Minnesota do not have an obligation to open the doors of our public sports facility and allow a for-profit entity to display and promote their racial slur.”

“…As responsible and committed Minnesota leaders, I would urge you to take action to ensure that on November 7th the Metrodome remains a public venue where all Minnesotans, especially Native Americans, can work, watch, and enjoy a Vikings game without a hostile, degrading, and offensive racial slur inflicted upon them.”

McCollum doesn’t detail how she wants the name and logo replaced. She sent copies of the letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf.

McCollum is co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, but is not a Native American. The only two in Congress are caucus co-chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who has also come out against the Redskins’ name, and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union similarly asked the Vikings not to use the Redskins’ name when they visit.

The ACLU also asked that media covering the game not use the name or images of the Redskins. With a 2-4 record right now, many Washingtonians don’t want to see images of the Redskins, either.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
First off, she can kiss my hairy butt.

Secondly, she thinks Redskins is bad but has no problem with Vikings. Hypocrite.

Thirdly, as a native american I am not offended by Redskins. I am offended by guilty white ilberals with too much time on their hands. We have 100 worse problems that need fixing; lets get on those.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
this woman is also publicly funded and her idiocy offends me. therefore, to be consistent, she needs to resign immediately.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“legal obligations” to ensure no one is offended." Based on what statute? Giving universal suffrage a bad name since 1920.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (43)
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25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment














I hope the redskins never change their name.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Betty! (her campaign posters are just her first name and an exclamation mark) is not one of the brighter bulbs in Congress. That's why she is seldom heard from other than to sprout the leftist cause du jour. Unfortunately her district is St.Paul and close in suburbs. It is solid D and she plays the single mother turned activist for the children card for all its worth to attract women who lean independent.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
This ditz, I mean Rep. McCollum, was elected in 2000. How many times has she complained previously about the Redskins' team name? Was it not offensive in 2000 but is now? Why would that be?

I wonder how many complaints have been lodged about it in Minnesota up to the recent push?

There is quite likely a contractual obligation for the Vikings and their stadium to display the full name and logos of all visiting NFL teams. So McCollum, Dayton, Franken, and all the other mental defectives from Minnesota can fold their "concerns" five ways and stick 'em where the sun don't shine.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm Irish. The Vikings invaded Ireland and murdered men, woman and children. When I see a team named after the murderous Viking, it makes me sick. You need to change the name of the Vikings. It's offensive to millions of Irish men and women around the world.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Received this today - so true. Too bad Rep. Betty McCollum can't get motivated about something that will make a positive difference for our country.

The Washington Redskins are changing their name because of all the negativity, shame, humiliation, dissent, polarity, adversity, defiance, hatred, animosity, contempt, discrimination, division, violence, counter-productivity, ill-spirit, un-Godliness, and hostility associated with their name.


From now on they will be known simply as the Redskins.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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