17 November 2009

Supreme Court allows racial epithet in Redskins case

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a group of Native Americans who find the Washington Redskins team name offensive.

According to Reuters, "The appeal was supported by more than 30 law professors, 13 psychology professors who are experts on stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination[,] and by the Social Justice Advocacy Group, a coalition of non-profit and religious organizations and socially responsible investment entities." So this case is not the fruit of some far-out solitary whim.

The Supremes didn't even bother to address the issue of offensiveness, however. Instead, they let themselves off the hook by throwing out the case on a technicality: They ruled that the plaintiffs waited decades too long to file the suit. If you snooze, you lose. Political correctness be damned.

I hope now the team's owners will do the right thing and voluntarily change the name to something less offensive. But, given that they let the case go all the way to the Supreme Court, I don't imagine that it will happen anytime soon.

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