Efforts to lure the Washington Redskins back to the District have come up against a potentially insurmountable challenge: the Obama administration’s objections to the team’s name.Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser this spring that the National Park Service, which owns the land beneath Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, was unlikely to accommodate construction of a new stadium for the Redskins unless the team changes its name.
Jewell oversees both national park land and America’s trust and treaty relationships with Native American tribes.Her decision not to extend the District’s lease of the RFK land badly hinders Bowser’s bid to return the Redskins to D.C. — and boosts efforts to lure the team across the Potomac to Northern Virginia.
It is also a blatant abuse of government power and an insult to the spirit and intent of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
The government has no business trying to use its power to influence what owner Dan Snyder chooses to call his football team and his sports company. None. For a member of the President’s cabinet to use any bit of her power to force a private citizen to bend his choice of expression to the administration’s/Democratic Party’s/ political correctness-obsessed Democratic base’s will cannot be defended as consistent with the principles of this democracy. If the Redskins name is acceptable to the team’s fans in sufficient numbers that the team remains popular and profitable (despite the fact that the team has stunk for more than a decade), the fact that victim-mongering Native American activists are offended by the moniker of a team they don’t care about (playing a sport they shouldn’t support) has no relevance to its conduct at all.
Admittedly, it could be worse. If some racist maniac shoots up a reservation after being photographed wearing a Redskin helmet, progressives, cheered on by journalists, will be trying to ban not only the Redskins name, but football, helmets, redskin potatoes and the color red.
I’ll give the Obama minions credit: they are clever about the way they infringe on our rights. This one might stand up to a court challenge, but it shouldn’t fool anyone. Once again, modern U.S. liberals are showing how illiberal they are, and for all their empty rhetoric on tolerance, what they can’t tolerate is diversity of opinion and thought.