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latimes.com/sports/la-sp-plaschke18-2009sep18,0,3967721.column latimes.com BILL PLASCHKE 'Redskins' is no honor, it's an insult A group renews its legal challenge against the Washington Redskins, the most clearly disparaging nickname still in use by a team. Bill Plaschke September 18, 2009 On a Saturday night in New York, the sports world vilifies Serena Williams for raining threats upon a line judge. Yet a day later across the river, the same sports world celebrates a team whose nickname is considered a threat to an entire ethnic group. Redskins. A pro football season begins with two noted players banished to the sidelines for "conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and confidence in, the National Football League." Yet that same league supports a team whose entire identity is forged through a symbol of detrimental conduct known as racism. Redskins.
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It remains one of the great mysteries in sports, a 77-year-old crime that remains largely ignored and purposely unsolved. How does a team from the nation's capital, supported by a fan base of some of the nation's greatest thinkers, maintain a nickname that is the Native American equivalent to the N-word? Redskins? "It is the worst thing in the English language you can be called if you are a native person," said Suzan Shown Harjo, a Native American writer and public policy advocate who is the lead plaintiff in one of the most compelling lawsuits in sports history. Seventeen years after challenging the Washington Redskins trademark, Harjo and six others have renewed their fight, petitioning the Supreme Court to examine a lower-court ruling that denied their challenge on a technicality.
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