Rush Limbaugh, who on his radio show has referred to Native Americans as "Injuns," was rejected as a pro football team owner because of his racial insensitivity. Yet the National Football League doesn't seem bothered that one of its franchises uses an ethnic slur as a team name, one so foul that even Limbaugh would hesitate to utter it.
An etymological study determined that the term "red skin" was first used in the early 19th century by Native Americans themselves, as a way to distinguish their people from the "white skins." But over the years, the term has taken on ugly connotations. A football team called the Crackers or the Darkies probably wouldn't be tolerated for long, yet the Washington Redskins have been using their offensive moniker since moving from Boston in 1937, and current owner Daniel Snyder has ignored calls to change it.
Attempts to get the courts to make him do so have failed, culminating this month when the Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal of a 17-year-old trademark case against the team. That's just as well -- court mandates of political correctness can conflict with the 1st Amendment and are rarely a good idea. But Snyder and the league should know that offending their customers isn't a good idea either.