“Hail to the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigeneous Persons” Just Doesn’t Have the Same Ring: Is the Name “Redskins” Offensive Enough to Outweigh Tradition?


In this article, I discuss whether the federal government has an obligation to act to restrict the NFL’s Washington franchise’s use of the term “Redskins”. The article discusses the unique obligation that the courts have placed on the federal government with respect to Native Americans. It articulates two approaches that have been employed with varying degrees of success in abolishing the nickname. Free speech concerns are explored with respect to this issue. Finally, the article briefly discusses some proposed methods that the government could employ to “encourage” the Redskins and the NFL to change the nickname.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law | Human Rights Law | Indian and Aboriginal Law

Date of this Version

July 2006