The Minneapolis City Attorney told the city council last week that there is nothing her office can do to bar the Washington football team from using the name “Redskins”, and the associated logo, when the team plays the Minnesota Vikings next month.
The council had asked Susan Segal to study what options the city had to block the nickname and logo for the upcoming game at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.
Segal said the city lacks standing to file suit and if it did it would run contrary to federal court rulings that restrict speech protected under the First Amendment. The city would need to file a lawsuit for an injunction before the game is played. The nickname and logo very likely violates the city’s civil rights ordinance, she said, but state courts have ruled city code doesn’t extend to the U of M.
The city might be “about the worst plaintiff you can have to try to win expansion of the law in this area,” she said.
Several groups are critical of both the city and the U of M for not doing more to ban the nickname and the logo.
Alan Yelsey, a member of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, said Segal’s analysis of law is wrong. He said that law allows injunctions to prevent discrimination in such facilities.