WhoA federal judge in Maryland.

Change the name? Yep.

Why? A federal judge in Maryland issued a ruling last week that intentionally didn’t use the name of the Washington football team, presumably because it is racist. The judge, Peter J. Messitte, is presiding over the case filed by former New York Giants linebacker Barrett Green, who is accusing the Washington football team of allowing its former tight end Robert Royal to intentionally injure Green’s knee during a 2004 game as part of a bounty program. Royal and the football team want the case dismissed, but Messitte issued a ruling last week refusing to entirely dismiss the case.  

Shame Spiral rating: SMDH. As first noted by the Post, the judge included a footnote explaining that he would “refrain from using the team name unless reference is made to a direct quote where the name appears.” The judge did more than just publicly state his opposition to the team, which many people, including President Barack Obama, have already done before. He used the power that he could within his position as a judge to take a stance on the team. The Post reports that Messitte also ordered the attorneys in the case not to use the team names in his court room. That means he ordered a lawyer representing Dan Snyder‘s football team not to use the name of the squad. Bravo!

Illustration by Jandos Rothstein