Entries in Football (3)


Was RGIII 'Tyranny' Tweet Aimed at Efforts to Change Team Name?

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It is not exactly clear what Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III was referring to when he sent a frustrated tweet about political correctness on Tuesday afternoon.

But one possible explanation has to do with the decades-long effort to make his team’s name and its distinctive logo featuring a Native American with feathers in his hair more politically correct.

One new recommendation is to change the team's name from the Redskins to the Red Tails.

Griffin tweeted a pair of messages on Tuesday decrying the "tyranny of political correctness."

The Red Tails idea, proposed by D.C. City Councilmember David Grosso, would urge the team to alter the team name that has long been considered as derogatory to Native Americans and make it an homage to the Tuskeegee Airman, the barrier-breaking World War II African American aviation unit.

Over the decades-long debate over the Redskins name, the team has argued it honors Native American heritage.

The Redskins don’t even play in Washington any more -- they train in nearby Virginia and play in nearby Maryland -- but they’re still the team from Washington. Still, the city council doesn’t have the ability to force the team to change its name.

A more painful enticement for the Redskins could come from Congress or the Federal court that oversees U.S. trademarks.

A three-judge panel for the court in Alexandria, Virginia heard arguments last month in a case brought by five 18-year-old Native Americans that the name is offensive and therefore not eligible for a trademark. The court might not rule for a year, but if they voided the Redskins trademark, it could cost the team a lot of money.

A bill to strip the team of its trademark has also been introduced with the support of D.C.’s delegate in Congress, although it is not clear when or if it will get a vote.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Talks Football, Gender Issues, Taxes Before Super Bowl

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the nation geared up for the Super Bowl XLVII matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, President Obama said he stood by his recent comments that as a parent he’d hesitate allowing his children to play football and that he viewed the contact sport differently in light of recent heightened national awareness of its health dangers.

In a pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley, the president reiterated what he’d told the New Republic.

“It is a great sport, I am huge fan, but there is no doubt some of the concerns that we have learned about when it comes to concussions have to give parents pause,” he said.  “And as I said before.  I feel differently about the NFL, these are  grown men, they are well compensated, they know the risks that are involved.  But as we start thinking about the pipeline, Pop Warner, high school, college, I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make the sport safer.”

The president admitted it may mean less drama for those “those of us who like to see a big hit,” but also acknowledged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent commitment of $30 million to the National Institutes of Health to accelerate research into the bodily effects of the contact sport.

Capitalizing on the massive audience for the Super Bowl -- more than 111.3 million tuned in to watch last year and the game receives the highest viewer ratings of any broadcast -- each year, Obama has granted a game-day interview to whichever network airs the National Football League championship.

In a news cycle dominated by national debate on immigration reform and gun violence, Pelley on Sunday asked Obama about some topics that have received less attention, including military women in combat roles and whether the Boy Scouts should allow gay members into their organization.

In January, the Pentagon announced it would lift a long-standing ban on women serving in combat.  Pelley asked Obama if he had any hesitation as commander in chief in ordering female service members into harm’s way.

“I don’t,” Obama replied.

“Women as a practical matter are now in combat, they may not be treated as such, but when they are in theater in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, they are vulnerable, they are wounded and they have been killed, and they have carried out their jobs with extraordinary patriotism, and distinction,” he said.

The president said he’d met women soldiers who could do “anything that a man can” and that they should not be prevented from “advancing in an institution we all revere.”

Meanwhile, later this week, the Boy Scouts of America will convene to decide whether to allow members of the LGBT community out of their ranks.  Continuing his long-held stance, the president reiterated they should be allowed entry.

“My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunities, the same way as everyone else does, in every institution and walk of life,” Obama continued.  “And you know the Scouts are a great institution, that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives.  And I think nobody should be barred from that.”

The interview also touched on the fallout of the negotiations from the debt ceiling, in which the president signed legislation through Congress that raised taxes on annual household income over $450,000.  Pelley asked Obama whether he could promise not to raise rates again in his next term.

“There is no doubt we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions,” Obama replied, reiterating his past stance on reduction of healthcare costs and closing tax loopholes.  He said the tax system needed to be “fair and transparent,” noting the average American couldn’t take advantage of loopholes or offshore accounts.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Candidate Jon Huntsman Views South Carolina Football Match

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- With football season in full swing, former Utah governor and GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman took the opportunity to mingle with first-in-the-south voters at three different tailgate events in South Carolina today. Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye weaved through grills and coolers to greet fans of the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks.

“I’m running for president of the United States and South Carolina is mighty important in that process,” Huntsman told CBS affiliate WSPA-TV before the Clemson-Auburn game. “And where are you going to meet some of the great local people? You’re going to meet them at the football game. So we’re here, cheering for the Orange.”

Huntsman faced a slight conflict of interest at the University of South Carolina game later in the day. The Gamecocks hosted the Naval Academy, where Huntsman’s son, Jon III, is a sophomore.

“The people of this state have a huge say in who the next President of he United States will be,” Huntsman told WSPA. “I know they take that responsibility seriously. And we look forward to getting to know a whole lot more of them.”

Huntsman’s South Carolina campaign director Joel Sawyer told ABC News: “College football is more than a tradition here, it’s an institution. Clemson and Carolina games are an opportunity for retail politics in its purest form. The governor not only got to meet dozens of fans, supporters, and potential backers, but he also got to enjoy some darn good football.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio