Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Redskins Team Helmet

The Washington Redskins: A Name That Impacts Us All (2013-2016)


Controversy 

 The NFL and Washington Redskins are caught up in a controversy about their name, and the fact that some people think its offensive to the Native Americans.  The Washington Redskins, a member of the National Football League.  Owned by Dan Snyder the Redskins have been in the NFL since 1932.  The issue is an ethical issue based on how the Native Americans were treated during the early years of America. The issue arose when a poll went out asking if people thought the name was offensive, a lot of non-Native Americans found it to be. Another poll found that while people thought it offensive 71 percent of the people voted in it supported the name. A large number of Native Americans found it to not be offensive. Proponents of the name change argue that it shouldn’t matter if the name is found to be offensive to the Native Americans.  The courts have ruled for a name change, the team has not changed their name and are fighting the court on this issue. As of 2013 there were over 115 teams in the country that used a Native American term as their Mascot or Team name. The California Supreme court placed a law in affect that bans all high school teams from using any Native American related names. Adidas has involved themselves in the issue by offering money and specialty uniform designs to high schools who change their mascots and names to less offensive ones. The money would help with the rebranding of the school.  The FCC became involved and rulled in favor of the Redskins, because by their definition the name was not a crude name as some people have ensured it to be.  In June of 2014 six federal trademarks on the name Washington Redskins was revoked by a federal board.  These appeals don’t go into effect until the Redskin organization completes the appeals process.  Then in July of 2015 a judge ordered all of the trademarks to revoked.  As with the previous case the ruling will not go into effect until the appeals process is finished.  The appeals case that was scheduled to start proceeding on December 9th or 2016 was postponed until another case that could drastically impact the outcome of the case is determined.  Judges are expected to rule on this case in June of 2017.    This case would drastically effect the Redskins in not only their name and image but also their bottom line.  With their trademark revoked, it would cause their licensing to be nullified.

Stakeholders
Part of The Redskins Board of Directors

The stakeholders are anyone who is affected by the name controversy and decisions of the business.  The board of directors for the Redskins, they are the ones who are making the business decisions for the organization.  The board are responsible for how they have reacted to the demands of the name change.  The next group of stakeholders are the NFL as a whole.  With this controversy happening it is casting a negative image on the league.  The next group that is affected is the fans of the Redskins’ and the fans of the NFL in general.  Being fans of a team that some have deemed racist could subject these people to scrutiny that people could cast on them because they support a team with a name like this.  The last group of stakeholders included in this would be the players on the Redskins.  They are probably one of the most important groups to the success of the organization.  With this controversy buzzing around and the constant questions players’ face regarding this issue it could some players’ level of play to decline because of this distraction.  This could cause the team to face even more losses in revenue. 

Individualism 

Individualism is defined as every persons right
Dan Snyder
to pursue his own interests and should do so, but no one has the right to make other people’s choices about their pursuits for them.  Therefore we need to respect people’s rights to pursue their choices so we can all live in the ways we want.  Business actions should maximize profits for the owners of a business, but do so within the law.  If this theory was applied to this situation the name change would not be even argued about.  The decision would be completely up to the owners of the Redskins’ organization. Dan Snyder has repeatedly said that under no circumstance will he change the name of the organization.  Since this theory is all about owners choice, and maximizing profits; it would be his decision.

Utilitarianism

Happiness or pleasure are the only things of intrinsic value.  We ought to bring about happiness and pleasure in all beings capable of feeling it.  Business actions should aim to maximize the happiness in the long run for all conscious beings that are affected by the business action.  The way this theory would be utilized would be to as stated in The Case Manual “analyze the cost and benefits of a particular course of action” (Salazar 19) 
The parties that would be positively affected by this would be the owner of the Redskins, Dan Snyder.  The Board of Directors for the team.  The players and fans of the team.  This group could be considered the main stakeholders of the organization because they play the biggest part in the success of it.  
To analyze the case using this theory that is what needs to be done.  The benefits of keeping the name and the copyrights are:  They would not have to spend money on rebranding the team which would cost millions of dollars.
In this case they are not short term thinking to save money because saving money would actually lead to the business being more successful simply because of how much of a consumer sport this is.  Also fans would not have to buy new memorabilia with the rebranded logo and name on it, which would save them money as well.
The brand that has been around since the 1930’s will be intact and the legacy would be protected.  Contracts would not have to be revised to include the new team name and logo.  Copyrights and Trademarks would not have to be filed for the new name and logo.  Licensing agreements would not have to change.  


Kantianism

Redskins Fans Dressed in Multiple Articles of Redskins Apparel 
Rational decision – making autonomy of individuals, honesty, and freedom.  Always act in ways that respect and honor individuals and their choices. Don’t lie, cheat, manipulate or harm others to get your way. Rather, use informed and rational consent from all parties.   Act rationally – don’t act inconsistently in your own actions or consider yourself exempt from rules.  Allow and help people to make rational decisions.  Respect people, their autonomy, and individual needs and differences.  Be motivated by Good Will, seeking to do what is.  The decision would be to change the name of the team.  Since one of the main qualities is to honor individuals and their opinions, the obvious choice would be to concede to the wishes of the people who want the name change.  With that being said it would be his right to do with his company as he wants.  The name of the team is not physically harming anyone so it falls within the parameters.  Honesty, Dan Snyder is not lying about anything to get his way.  He really has nothing to lie about in this situation because everything is laid out for all the people and Judges to see so they can make their decision.  Freedom in this case would be letting Dan Snyder keep the name and trademarks.

Virtue Theory 

Character traits that promote wellness or flourishing of individuals within a society. Act so as to embody a variety of virtuous or good character traits and so as to avoid vicious or bad character traits. The characteristics that allow things to function properly are called ‘good making features’ or virtues
The virtues that the Redskins’ organization displayed cannot really be criticized because they did not sure many bad virtues. The only virtue worth criticizing was their constant and sometimes over-bearing stubbornness. Dan Snyder has said on multiple occasions that he has no intention to change the name. He has also been quoted as saying “Under no circumstances will I change the name."
Instead of challenging the issue he could have phrased what he said differently so to avoid the backlash that came from that statement. Now one could say that another virtue that Snyder has displayed that hurts his image is selfishness.

Justified Ethics Evaluation 

Redskins' offense in hudle before play
I believe that the Redskins should keep their name.  The name is not really an issue that needs to be amplified they way it is.  The name has been around since the 30's and this is only the second instance of people trying to get the name to change.  This however is the first time it is being given this much coverage in the news, polls, and other forms of media.  I personally believe that there are far greater issues in the world that deserve this amount of criticism and activism, than the name of a professional sports team.  I find it actually insulting that people have placed so much weight on an issue so minute when from 2013 until now there have been so many life altering world events that actually warrant the anger and outrage that this case has casued.  So in my opinion I think people should focus the effort and attention on things that actually have an impact on the world instead of focusing on a name that in the grand scheme of things dont actually matter.



References

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