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The Washington Redskins are suing Native Americans

And you thought wearing headdresses was offensive

In a powerful display of villainy, the NFL team Washington Redskins is attempting to sue five Native Americans who brought a petition forward demanding that they change their name, claiming that it's offensive and perpetuates ethnic stereotyping.

The UK has recently seen an active rejection of adopting Native American garments as casual party wear, with Glastonbury banning the sale of the feathery headwear last month. The Canadian festival Bass Coast also prohibited their sale earlier this year and asked attendees to ditch the war paint out of respect for Native American heritage.

It's long been debated that the Redskins' name is offensive, with some say it's a reference to the skin tone of 19th century natives. Other complaints centre around the fans' behaviour at games, encouraged by the team. Redskins supporters dress up in headdresses, wear face paint and bring along tomahawks, something critics say is an offensive attempt to play at being Indian, equivalent to "blacking up".

In 2006, a woman called Amanda Blackhorse filed a petition against the Redskins along with four other people. She describes the team name and fan behaviour as a "mockery of our culture". Now, the Redskins are suing the group who brought the petition forward and a judge has suggested that they are welcome to pursue legal action. The Redskins argue that the name wasn't offensive when it was registered as a trademark, although DC newspapers have published stories on the controversy dating back to 1971.

Anti-Redskins protests were held as the Redskins took on Minnesota Vikings yesterday, with around 5,000 protesters in attendance outside the University of Minnesota stadium. Despite the campaign, Redskins owner Dan Snyder says he'll never change the name.