Let me start by saying that I'm not a football fan. I wouldn't go to a football game if the tickets were a dollar apiece.
But this page has almost nothing to do with football: This is a discussion of the forces of political correctness
doing battle against the Washington Redskins because of the allegedly offensive nature of the team's name.
Many other professional sports franchises have equally offensive names that perpetuate harmful stereotypes -- starting with
the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins have been targeted because they have offended a politically active minority in
a city that thrives on politics. This whole issue is the confluence of perpetually offended minorities,
activist judges, and "civil rights" lawyers who stand to benefit from the strife.
The general public should be much more concerned about
tax dollars being spent on stadiums and arenas than on the names of the teams.
Court rejects Redskins' trademark appeal case. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the Washington
Redskins' legal challenge to a lower court ruling to cancel the team's trademarks on the grounds the name is offensive to
Native Americans. Instead, the high court will hear a different case involving an Asian-American rock band in order to
issue a ruling on federally registered trademarks. The Oregon-based band The Slants and the Redskins have argued
separately that a 1946 federal law barring trademarks on "disparaging" terms, such as racial slurs, violates free speech
rights under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed last week to take The Slants' case but rejected the
Redskins' on Monday [10/3/2016].
Court Will Hear Ban On Offensive Trademarks. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a federal law banning
the registration of offensive or disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment. The case has major implications
for the Washington Redskins, whose trademark was stripped by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and a federal judge last
year. The judge concluded that the team name was offensive to Native Americans.
policy adviser called autistic Native American man a "weetard" for, wearing a Redskins sweater, spat in his
face. An Obama appointee in the Department of Education allegedly insulted, spat on and savagely beat an
autistic Native American man for wearing a Redskins sweater. Barrett Dahl, 28, says he was at a Native American
gathering in Washington, DC in October 2015 when appointee William Mendoza spotted him wearing the sweater.
Native American Says He Was Attacked Over Redskins Shirt. An Oklahoma college student visiting Washington D.C.
on a school trip, says he was beat up for wearing a Redskins Jersey. And the person he got into a fight with was a
White House official in charge of American Indian education. Barrett Dahl is Native American and a member of both the
Choctaw and Sac and Fox Nations. He is also autistic. He says he wore the Redskins shirt because he was in
Washington D.C. and because he sees it as a sense of cultural pride. However, when he showed up wearing it at a
Pow Wow that's when the trouble started.
name offensive to sports journalists, but not to 90 percent of Native Americans. Do Native Americans oppose the
name Washington Redskins the way so many sportswriters do? Quick answer: No. The Washington Post has gone
to the trouble of conducting a nationwide survey of Native Americans, the first since 2004. The results: "Nine in
10 Native Americans say they are not offended by the Washington Redskins name, according to a new Washington Post poll that
shows how few ordinary Indians have been persuaded by a national movement to change the football team's moniker.
dropping my protest of Washington's football team name. A Washington Post poll released Thursday has confirmed
that the vast majority of American Indians don't consider the name of Washington's professional football team to be
offensive. Why should this bother me? After all, I'm a longtime, devoted fan of the burgundy and gold. A
season ticket holder for more than a decade. Most of my fellow fans will feel relief and vindication that 9 out of 10
Native Americans judge the name to be innocent — just as team owner Snyder and the National Football League have
said all along.
finds large majority of Native Americans are OK with "Redskins". A poll of Native Americans found that the vast
majority do not object to the Washington NFL team's name. The Washington Post commissioned a poll with a randomly
selected national sample of 504 Native American adults. That poll asked, "The professional football team in Washington
calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive, or doesn't it bother
you?" The result was a strong argument for Dan Snyder's case that his team does not need to change its name: A
whopping 90 percent answered that the name doesn't bother them. Only 9 percent called the name offensive,
with 1 percent having no opinion.
Redskins and Liberal Logic. [T]he Washington Post on Friday published a poll that categorically demonstrates that Native
Americans by a huge majority do not consider the moniker of Washington, D.C.'s football team — Redskins — offensive. This
should deal a substantial blow to the movement to force the team to change its name, which is now conclusively revealed to be
made up of nothing more than a tiny minority of Native American activists supported by mainstream leftists Democrat politicians
anxious to find yet another way to balkanize and divide the public.
out of 10 Native Americans [are] not offended by Redskins name, poll reveals. The poll conducted by the Washington Post indicated
more than eight in 10 said they wouldn't be offended if someone who was not a Native American called them that name.
Washington Redskins Controversy is Liberal Paternalism At Its Worst. I laughed out loud this morning reading
this headline from The Washington Post, a reaction to their poll yesterday [5/19/2016] finding 9 out of 10 Native
Americans don't care about the name "Washington Redskins." So yeah, it turns out that for the past three years, when countless
thought pieces and editorials demanded the Redskins change their name because of the anguish and deep offense felt by Native Americans,
that was a load of bull. It's actually offensive because it just is, and if actual Indians don't care they just need to
get with the program and listen to their betters.
Hail to the Un-PC Redskins. Whether
or not the Redskins prevail in this battle is just the tip of the iceberg. In recent years it has become obvious that something we once
considered sacrosanct, freedom of speech, has come under increased pressure in the United States. [...] It would be wise if those among us who
think speech should be regulated take a good look at our leaders in Washington and ask themselves, do we really want those people, or any
other people for that matter, to be the arbiters of what can be expressed?
Upholding Offensive Trademarks Could Give Redskins a Boost. In a First Amendment ruling that could give a boost
to the Washington Redskins' legal battle over its name, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday [12/22/2015] that the government
can't reject trademarks for being disparaging or offensive.
the name game: Jason Hatcher attributes unfair treatment to 'Redskins' nickname. The Washington Redskins searched for reasons
why certain calls went against them Sunday [11/22/2015]. Defensive end Jason Hatcher has one theory: the team's nickname.
Department throws football party, but bans Redskins jerseys. When the U.S. Labor Department's Center for Civil
Rights wanted to celebrate its accomplishments last week, its managers threw the staff a football-themed tailgate party in
the office parking lot. [...] Even the regular office dress policy was relaxed. "Show your team spirit and wear your favorite
sports or club theme gear and come and enjoy tailgating favorites like dips, chili, chicken wings, nachos and more game-day grub,"
the invite said. There was only stipulation: no Washington Redskins jerseys, paraphernalia or memorabilia.
Push For Redskins Ban In Maryland Public School District. Parents in a Washington, D.C., suburb are calling on
the local school board to ban all Washington Redskins attire from classrooms. Jared Hautamaki was dropping his child off
at Highland Elementary School in Montgomery County, Md., in September when he noticed the school's principal wearing a shirt
emblazoned with the the Redskins logo, and was immediately offended.
Pushes Adidas to Work with Redskins on Changing Team Name. Thursday at the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference, President
Barack Obama praised Adidas for working with schools to remove Native American mascots and urged them to do the same for the Redskins.
Company Adidas to Finance Stripping Native American Mascots from U.S. High Schools. Adidas enabled more
political correctness across the nation on Thursday by offering to pay for free design resources to high schools looking to
replace Native American mascots, nicknames, imagery, or symbolism. The German athletic shoe and apparel manufacturer's
fight for social justice announced the initiative in conjunction with the White House Tribal Nations Conference. On top
of offering free design, Adidas plans to underwrite at least a portion of the cost for the high schools' mascot transition.
leader offended by Redskins name wore blackface for Halloween. An American Indian leader and outspoken opponent
of the Washington Redskins' team name reportedly dressed up in blackface for Halloween. Terry Rambler, chairman of the
San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona, posted a Facebook picture of himself as Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley, complete with a
dreadlocks wig and blackface makeup, the New York Post reported.
leader who criticized Redskins is sorry for Halloween blackface costume. Two years ago, San Carlos Apache
chairman Terry Rambler was at the White House, meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the "racially offensive" name
of the Washington Redskins. Last week, Rambler was in blackface. On Sunday [11/1/2015], the Arizona tribe leader
posted a Facebook photo of himself dressed as Bob Marley for Halloween, complete with fake dreadlocks and blackface makeup.
The picture has caused outrage, especially given Rambler's own public protests against racism towards Native Americans.
owner among the big donors to Jeb Bush super-PAC. The super-PAC supporting Jeb Bush's presidential bid posted a
massive $103 million fundraising haul over the past six months, boosted by 24 individual donors who gave at least $1 million
apiece. The Right to Rise super-PAC filed its fundraising numbers with the Federal Election Commission on Friday [7/31/2015],
giving new insight into the political and financial power-players opening their wallets for the former Florida governor.
to the Redskins'. A judge, perhaps a Cowboys fan, canceled the registration of the trademark of
the name this week, getting the name of Gerald Bruce Lee in the papers, too. [...] Mr. Lee — a storied
name, that — upheld the decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the name "Redskins" is racist
and offensive, though on a typical Sunday afternoon in November in Washington no one would think so. Another
appeal is expected, and Judge Lee's order actually doesn't change much. The club can keep the name for now.
judge orders cancellation of Redskins' trademark registration. A federal judge on Wednesday [7/8/2015] ordered the
cancellation of the Washington Redskins' trademark registration, ruling that the team name may be disparaging to Native Americans.
Levin's awesome response to Obama shutting down Redskins new stadium. Mark Levin had
the best response to the insane news that the Obama administration is blocking the Redskins' new
stadium until they change their name. [Audio clip.]
administration likely to block new Redskins stadium. The National Park Service (NPS)
owns the land under the 54-year-old Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, a venue two miles east of
the Capitol that hosted the Redskins from 1961 to 1996. Some city leaders want to demolish the
current stadium and build a new one to lure the football team back from suburban Maryland. But
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose department includes the NPS, told D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in
April that, unless the Redskins change their name, the Obama administration would not work to accommodate
construction of a new venue, according to The Washington Post.
stiff-arms Constitution: Admin lawyers fight 'Redskins' trademark. The Washington
Redskins' name is commercial speech and isn't the kind of free expression protected by the First
Amendment, the Obama administration told a federal court this week in defending a ruling that has
stripped the football team of trademark protections. The team's name itself is not at stake, but
if the trademark is canceled, the name becomes less valuable because the owners would struggle to
enforce their trademark against anyone who wanted to use the name or Indian logo on their own merchandise.
Redskins: A Yankee Doodle Moment. Once again, the controversy over the symbol and name of the
Washington Redskins is in the news. Some Native-Americans are saying that it is "disrespectful",
"insulting", and "offensive". In fact, the name and symbol of the football team is so offensive
that it has grabbed the attention of the President of the United States; [...]
lawyers go to court to fight Redskins over team name. The Obama administration joined
a lawsuit opposing the Washington Redskins' team trademark on Friday [1/9/2015], filing court papers
to defend the federal law that gives the government the power to deny recognition to trademarks it
believes to be disparaging. The Patent and Trademark Office's appeals board had revoked the NFL
team's trademarks last year, finding that they were offensive and so they weren't protected under
federal law. The Justice Department said it agrees with them, and will fight a lawsuit by
the team's owners seeking to overturn the federal Lanham Act as a violation of free speech.
rules 'Redskins' can stay on the air. The Federal Communications Commission on
Thursday ruled the name "Redskins" is not profane or obscene. In a formal ruling, the
commission rejected calls to yank the broadcast license of a radio station owned by Washington
Redskins owner Dan Snyder for excessively using the team's name, which some find offensive.
Can Sue American Indians Over Team's Trademark. The National Football League's
Washington Redskins can sue a group of American Indians for seeking to block trademark protection
for its name, which has been criticized as offensive. U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in
Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday denied a request to dismiss the case. Throwing out the complaint
would deprive the team of the opportunity to review the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's decision
to cancel the mark as disparaging, Lee said in his ruling.
The Real Story Behind the
Redskins Name. Recently, I was lucky enough to sit down with M. Andre Billeaudeaux who
is the author of a new book entitled How the Redskins Got Their Name. Obviously, the
controversy over whether the NFL team's name is racist is going to be a subject of debate for a long
time to come. I was on the fence as to whether the name was a racial slur. But after my interview
with Andre, I came away completely convinced that those who view the name as being a derogatory slur
against Native Americans truly lack an understanding of the history of the team as well as the
history of the word "Redskin" itself.
introduced to strip tax exemption from Redskins. Washington D.C.'s non-voting Del.
Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill Wednesday [11/12/2014] that would strip tax-exempt status from
professional sports teams that associate with the Redskins team name, which she said "has officially
been found offensive." Norton's bill is a companion measure to one offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell,
D-Wa. Norton, a Democrat, cited a recent decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny
the renewal of the Redskins name, which is currently under appeal by team owner Daniel Snyder.
War Continues as Bill Introduced to Revoke Team's Tax-Exempt Status. Congress coming
back into session after the long campaign break means quick legislative action — against
the Washington Redskins. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) introduced on Wednesday [11/12/2014] a bill to
amend section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code to "prohibit tax-exempt status for professional
sports leagues that promote or allow a member club or franchise connected to that league to benefit
from the Washington football team name, a derogatory term that has officially been found offensive."
It's companion legislation to a bill filed in the upper chamber by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
The Editor says...
It's a sad and dangerous day when the government can declare specific terms to be "officially" offensive.
Redskins buses crash on the way to Minnesota Vikings game. It was a bad day for the
Washington Redskins as the football team was involved in a bus crash before a crowd of 5,000
protesters descended on the stadium rallying against the squad's divisive nickname. [...] Two of the
Redskin team buses were driving with a police escort to the stadium at around 8.30 am when one
bus took a wrong turn and crashed into the back of the other.
Arizona, a Navajo high school emerges as a defender of the Washington Redskins. The
fans poured into the bleachers on a Friday night, erupting in "Let's go, Redskins!" chants that
echoed across a new field of artificial turf, glowing green against a vast dun-colored landscape.
Inside the Red Mesa High School locker room, Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" blared on the stereo as
players hurried to strap on their helmets and gather for a pregame prayer and pep talk.
Isn't The Media Outraged About The Kansas City Chiefs? Last night [9/29/2014] on
Monday Night Football, the ESPN crew couldn't stop praising the loud, engaged home crowd at the
Kansas City Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium. They opened the game with a ceremony where running back
Christian Okoye, "The Nigerian Nightmare", pounded on a giant drum as tens of thousands of Chiefs
fans cheered on. The crowd, many of whom wore feathers and American Indian-themed garb, chanted and
did the Tomahawk Chop. [...] But I gotta ask, where's the outrage from the politically correct?
Bob Costas? Phil Simms? Keith Olbermann? Don't you have anything to say about this?
Banning Redskins Name. The Federal Communications Commission is weighing whether to
ban TV stations from saying the name of Washington's football team. A law professor filed a
petition with the agency earlier this month, claiming that the name "Redskins" violates federal
rules barring any indecent content on broadcast television. At a press conference Tuesday, FCC
Chairman Tom Wheeler said he is reviewing the filing.
FCC May Start Fining Stations for Saying 'Redskins' On Air. Tom Wheeler, chairman of
the Federal Communications Commission, indicated Tuesday that the FCC may begin fining broadcasters
for saying the Washington Redskins name on air. The FCC recently received a petition from John
Banzhaf III, a legal activist and George Washington University professor, calling on the agency to
strip a Washington, D.C., radio station of its broadcasting license for using the name, according to
Considering Whether to Ban TV Stations from Saying Redskins. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
has already called on Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team's name, and according to National
Journal, Wheeler said on Tuesday [9/30/2014] his agency is considering a petition from George Washington
University law professor John Banzhaf in which Banzhaf urged the agency to ban the "racial slur"
because it is against the public interest.
FCC head: Redskins name 'derogatory'.
The head of the Federal Communications Commission wants the Washington Redskins to change the NFL team's name. "I don't use the term personally
and I think it is offensive and derogatory," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Broadcasting and Cable.
radio license challenged, team name called 'profanity,' 'hate crime'. One of
Washington's top litigators with a record of cowing Big Tobacco and Washington's Cosmos Club has
filed a petition with the FCC challenging the license of a radio station owned by the Washington
Redskins, a name he dubbed "profanity," and a "hate crime." John Banzhaf, a public interest law
professor at George Washington University, said that the license of station WWXX-FM (ESPN 980)
should not be renewed because it repeatedly uses the "ethnic slur" "Redskins," the type of
"profanity" the agency has blocked in the past.
Post editorial board stops using the word 'Redskins'. The Washington Post editorial
board said Friday that it will stop using the word "Redskins" when referring to Washington's
football team, joining a growing list of commentators who have renounced the term because they
believe it disparages Native Americans.
Ditka says Redskins name debate is 'so stupid it's appalling'. CBS Sports broadcaster
Phil Simms said Monday the he is considering not using the Redskins name when he calls the "Thursday
Night Football" Redskins-Giants game on Sept. 25 because he is sensitive to complaints about the
name. Former Chicago Bears coach and ESPN analyst Mike Ditka made it clear that he has no such
reservations about using the name in a recent interview with Mike Richman of RedskinsHistorian.com.
"What's all the stink over the Redskin name?" Ditka said. "It's so much [expletive] it's incredible. [...]"
Assembly Votes to Change Washington Redskins' Name. Though the Washington Redskins
play for a city on the opposite coast, California lawmakers voted Monday to urge that the National
Football League team change its name because it is "believed by some to be a racial slur and to
promote discrimination against Native Americans."
likely not to use 'Redskins' on TV. Two influential NFL voices — including
CBS lead analyst Phil Simms, who will handle Washington's Week 4 game — said Monday
[8/18/2014] they likely won't use the term "Redskins" when discussing the franchise.
defend name, ask federal court to overturn trademark decision. The Washington Redskins
filed a lawsuit Thursday [8/14/2014] in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, seeking to overturn a U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office decision that canceled the team's trademark registration because it considers the name and
logo disparaging. The Redskins are suing five Native Americans who won the headline-making patent case
on June 18, providing them with a largely symbolic victory in their fight to force the team to change its
name. By suing in federal district court, the Redskins are asking for a chance to defend their name,
which they contend celebrates Native Americans.
judge takes stance against use of Redskins in court documents. The U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office isn't the only federal authority that has taken a stance against the name of the
Washington Redskins. A federal judge in Maryland issued a ruling last week that purposely did not
contain the team's name, which has been described as an offensive slur against Native Americans.
the Left's Preoccupation with the Redskins? The Washington Redskins have been in
existence for 82 years. For about 80 of those years, virtually no one, including the vast majority
of American Indians, was troubled by the name. Yet, it is now of such importance to the American
left that the majority leader of the United States Senate has repeatedly demanded, from the floor of
the United States Senate, that the team drop its name; 50 United States senators, all of them
Democrats, have signed an open letter demanding the same; Sports Illustrated's Peter King no longer
uses the name; other leading sportswriters have adopted the same practice; and the president of the
United States has weighed in on the issue.
name drew no public complaints, patent offices reveals. The recent decision by an
obscure administrative law board to cancel the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations came
despite the fact the agency hadn't received a single letter from a member of the public complaining
about the team's name, records show.
Groups Look to Retire the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo. Amid the controversy
surrounding the Washington Redskins' team name, some Native American groups hope public outcry
turns toward a different team's symbol, more than 300 miles to the northwest: Chief Wahoo,
the bright red, wide-grinning face of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. "It's been offensive
since day one," Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache and longtime opponent of the Indians' team name
and logo, told NBC News. "We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people."
We're All Redskins
Now. Conservatives should be disabused of any notion that the recent revocation of
the Redskins' trademark by the US Patent Office had anything at all to do with the disparagement of
Native Americans, real or perceived. On the contrary, the exercise in political correctness is
not about aggrieved Native Americans. It's about the power to redistribute wealth and to eliminate
private property. Essentially, the Left has declared that no person's or company's trademark (or
patent) is safe.
Federal Octopus. [Scroll down] In pre-Obama times, the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office had a necessary and narrowly defined mission: to protect individual achievement
from improper infringement. But under Obama it too is now not a disinterested government agency but
an arm of the White House, which can be enlisted in the furtherance of a larger social agenda. Most
recently it waded into the controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins by rescinding the
football franchise's trademark rights to its name — on the basis, apparently, that the
president finds that name hurtful to Native Americans.
Office quandary: No to 'Redskins,' yes to [other stuff]? [Scroll down] So
where does that leave the Washington Redskins? Apparently out of luck, if the Patent Office's
interpretation of the law stands. In addition, many other trademarks could be in danger [...] if
the Patent Office evaluates them in the same light it has applied to some other cases. And a look at even
a small number of cases shows the Office has enormous leeway in deciding what passes muster and what doesn't.
patent office goes out of bounds in Redskins trademark case. Many of us recoil at the
reference to skin color as a team identity. The problem is that the Redskins case is just the
latest example of a federal agency going beyond its brief to inappropriately insert itself in
social or political debates. Few people would have expected the future of the Redskins to be
determined by an obscure panel in a relatively small government agency.
will finally be the last straw? There is a name for what the government did to the
Washington Redskins last week. It is called extortion. [...] And make no mistake, it is not so much
Native Americans who are wielding this cudgel, but the federal government itself, in a misbegotten
effort to beat Redskins' owner Dan Snyder until he gives up his team's 77-year hold on the name and
tradition because it offends some small sliver of society. I can think of no more clear example
of wresting a thing from someone by use of "authority" than this attempt at theft through bureaucracy.
Remember, this is a mascot that has served the football team since 1937 and on which the team has
built its reputation for excellence.
decision may threaten 40+ Bay State high schools with Indian-themed mascots. Bay
State high school logos from the Tewksbury Redmen to the Wakefield Warriors could be history after
yesterday's bombshell trademark ruling against the Washington Redskins breathed new life into the
fight against Native American mascots, said two opposing advocates. More than 40 high schools in
Massachusetts use Native American images or names — but maybe not for long after the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled the Redskins name is offensive. "There are absolutely
concerns. The biggest concern should be in Tewksbury because their nickname is the Redmen as well,"
said Erich Thalheimer of Natick, who's fighting to bring the same logo back to his hometown high school.
the Redskins Trademark Ruling Should Terrify You. The ruling was based on a dubious
argument that "redskins" is a slur against Native Americans. Well, then maybe we'd better rename
the state of Oklahoma, which drew its name from Choctaw words that mean "red people." Or maybe we
should petition the US Army to decommission the attack helicopter it named after a people it defeated in
1886. Then again, forget I mentioned it. I don't want to give anyone ideas. This
name-bullying has become a kind of sport for self-aggrandizing political activists, because if you
can force everyone to change the name of something — a sports team, a city, an entire
race of people — it demonstrates your power.
Redskins Ruling's Slippery Slope. According to the 1946 Lanham Act, the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office can't issue trademarks for a name or logo that "comprises immoral, deceptive,
or scandalous matter" or that "may disparage ... institutions, beliefs, or national symbols."
It's that latter part that the Patent Office used to revoke several Washington Redskins trademarks
this week, even though its previous attempt was thrown out by an appeals court in 1999 for insufficient
evidence of disparagement. The Patent Office might have better luck this time. At least
there is more political momentum behind today's effort to force the NFL team to change its name.
Office's Rejection of Redskins Trademark Violates First Amendment. [Scroll
down] The real issue is whether the Patent Office has the authority to invalidate a
registration based upon a viewpoint restriction such as one against "disparagement" of a group.
The previous case that spurred Eugene [Volokh]'s initial opinion on the issue was a Federal Circuit
case in which the court found that the "Stop the Islamization of America" trademark was disparaging
to Muslims. That case, like today's Patent Office decision, did not consider the First Amendment
patently wrong about the Redskins name. White man truly speak with forked tongue. In
a ruling as slippery as Bill Clinton's famous definition of what the meaning of the word "is" is, the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decided Wednesday [6/18/2014] to cancel the Washington Redskins'
trademarks. President Obama suggested in October that the football team should "think about
changing" its name, and here we are in June, and the administration is trying to force it to
comply. Funny how that works. Federal trademark law doesn't allow registration of a trademark
that "may disparage" individuals or groups or "bring them into contempt or disrepute." That little
helper verb "may" is the thin reed seized on by a small gaggle of aggrieved opportunists who insist
the name disparages Indians. They insist the government must force the team's owner, Dan Snyder,
to change it.
Hell to the Redskins.
The PTO refused all of the team's defense arguments including laches — a legal term
basically meaning that (due to equity concerns rather than something like a statute of limitations)
the plaintiff waited too long to assert his/its claim. However, in a similar case in 1992 in which
the PTO also revoked Redskins' trademarks for nearly identical reasons, a federal court overturned
the ruling based on laches, a decision that was eventually upheld after appeal and rehearing.
Redskins statement on trademark registration ruling. This ruling — which
of course we will appeal — simply addresses the team's federal trademark registrations,
and the team will continue to own and be able to protect its marks without the registrations. The
registrations will remain effective while the case is on appeal. When the case first arose more
than 20 years ago, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled on appeal in favor of the
Washington Redskins and their trademark registrations.
lose trademark, Harry Reid says team will be 'forced' to change name. In what some
see as the first step to forcing the Washington Redskins football team to change their name, the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday [6/18/2014] cancelled six federal trademarks of the team name
because it's "disparaging" to Native Americans. "Petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the
evidence that a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term REDSKINS to be disparaging,"
said the decision.
office cancels Redskins' trademarks, ruling it's 'disparaging'. The U.S. Patent
Office ruled Wednesday [6/18/2014] that the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native
Americans" and that the team's federal trademarks for the name must be canceled. The 2-1 ruling
comes after a campaign to change the name has gained momentum over the past year. The team doesn't
immediately lose trademark protection and is allowed to retain it during an appeal.
Majority Leader Harry Reid rejects Redskins tickets, calls name 'a racial slur'. Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid, D-Nev., told Washington Redskins President Bruce Allen he is "promoting a racial slur by retaining the team
name. Reid sent a letter to Allen to reject his invitation to attend a Redskins game. Reid, whose state
includes 27 Native American tribes, said he won't reconsider the invitation until the Redskins name is dropped for a new name.
Kaine, Warner not among Senate Dems pressuring NFL to change Redskins'
name. Invoking the heated racial controversy triggered by basketball's Donald Sterling, the U.S. Senate has stepped up pressure
on the NFL to force the Washington Redskins to change their name. Fifty senators, all Democrats, have signed a letter released on
Thursday [5/22/2014] by Majority Leader Harry Reid that urges pro football's commissioner, Roger Goodell, to take action over concerns
that continued use of the Redskins brand is offensive to Native Americans.
Senators Tell NFL Commissioner to Follow NBA Example, Condemn 'Racist' Redskins. The congressional push to urge the
Washington Redskins to change the team's name has heretofore mostly been coming from the House, with D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D) and nine other members of Congress firing off letters a year ago to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, team owner
Dan Snyder, the 31 other NFL franchises, and Redskins' sponsor FedEx to urge that the team's name be changed. Also
last spring, American Samoa Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D) introduced a bill, co-sponsored by those who signed the letter, to cancel
existing trademark registrations containing the term "redskin," and deny registration for new trademarks using the term.
UN expert weighs in on
Redskins controversy. A United Nations human rights expert says the name of the Washington Redskins
football team is a "hurtful reminder" of the mistreatment of Native Americans, but stopped short of joining in calls
for the team's owner to change the name.
introduce bill to void 'Redskins' trademark. A group of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill that would prevent
the term "Redskins" from being trademarked, a move intended to put pressure on the Washington football club to change its name.
The Non-Disparagement of American Indians in Trademark Registrations Act of 2013 is co-sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.),
and comes days after a federal trademark panel heard arguments over whether the team name was a slur.
Holmes Norton urge Washington Redskins to change team name. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D) are urging the Washington Redskins to seriously consider changing the team's name. Lewis, a civil-rights hero,
told The Hill that "we have to be sensitive" to the concerns that the name is offensive to some people. He said the NFL
team "should consider" a name change, pointing out that he has been asked similar questions about the Atlanta Braves's "Tomahawk
Chop," which has attracted criticism from Native American groups.
Waxman Calls For Congressional Hearing on 'Offensive' Redskins Name. On Friday [5/9/2014], Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the
ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called on Congress to have a hearing on the "offensive" and
"derogatory" Redskins name. [...] Waxman wrote that, "in the case of the Washington football team, the offensive conduct
is public, not private. But it is being condoned and defended by National Football League."
Indians to meet with U.N. over Redskins name. The Oneida Indian Nation is scheduled to meet with human rights representatives of the
United Nations on Friday to discuss the Washington NFL club's team name — and the team says the U.N. should be working on world peace.
faces pressure from Congress to change Redskins' name. Two members of Congress have written a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
urging Goodell and the league "to take a formal position in support of a name change" by the Washington Redskins.
Fellow activists: Obama meets with
anti-Redskins casino honcho. President Obama is going to war against the Washington Redskins' team name, meeting Tuesday with a casino
executive to discuss anti-Redskins activism. Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter, who currently holds the title Nation Representative
for the Oneida nation, has waged a non-stop campaign to get the NFL franchise to change its name.
Office Says 'Redskins' is Derogatory. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a request from a company to
sell pork rinds using the word "Redskins" because it deemed the term to be "derogatory slang."
Ombudsman: ESPN Considered Banning Use of 'Redskins'.
ESPN's ombudsman revealed that the network considered banning the use of "Redskins" but declined to do so because of the news that such a move would inevitably make.
Redskins Name Debate Reaches United
Nations. The Oneida Indian leader from upstate New York who has become a high-profile critic of the Washington Redskins' nickname
is taking his case to the United Nations. The Oneida Indian Nation says Ray Halbritter will meet Friday [1/24/2014] with the Assistant
Secretary-General for Human Rights at U.N. headquarters in Manhattan.
D.C. Council Votes
Unanimously to Urge Redskins to Change 'Racist and Derogatory' Name. The District of Columbia's City Council voted unanimously Tuesday
[11/5/2013] to approve a measure urging the Washington Redskins football franchise to change its nickname because of its "racist and derogatory" nature.
salutes NHL champions the Blackhawks... after calling on Redskins name offensive. Barack Obama potentially faces accusations of hypocrisy for
praising the Chicago Blackhawks weeks after saying the Washington Redskins should change their name because it was deemed racially offensive to American
Indians. The beaming President did not hide his desire to see more victorious teams from his home city when he hosted the NHL champions at the White
House yesterday [11/4/2013]. Neither he did not shy away from using the team's Native-American-derived handle — having last month said such
names offend 'a sizable group of people.'
The Editor says...
Every football crowd probably has a one-in-a-million freak who is offended by everything. If any organization that deals with the public stops to
consider the complaints of every individual, nothing will ever get done.
The Washington Redskins and Liberal Fascism.
Can we first note how absurd it is for Halbritter and co to blame the endemic problems of the Native American community on something as trivial as a
football team name? A football team name that, as Rick Reilly has noted, is proudly embraced by a number of Native Americans and Native American
institutions? It's Dan Snyder's fault that Native Americans are psychological train wrecks?
NBC Sports partnered with Oneida casino
prior to Costas Redskins rant. The disputed Indian leader pushing to change the Redskins team name had already entered into an undisclosed television
agreement with NBC Sports when Bob Costas delivered his on-air editorial condemning the Redskins name. The Oneida Indian Nation's Turning Stone Casino in upstate
New York, overseen by gaming mogul and disputed Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, will host its first NBC "Fight Night" production November 16 with
the IBF heavyweight title fight between Tomasz Adamek and Vyacheslav Glazkov. NBC already had the deal in place to broadcast from Turning Stone when Bob Costas
delivered a halftime editorial during NBC's October 13 primetime broadcast of the Cowboys-Redskins game.
NFL Commissioner on Redskins: 'If One Person Is Offended, We Have to Listen'.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell softened his stance on the Redskins name on Wednesday [9/11/2013] when he said that the NFL had to listen to concerns about the team's nickname
even if only one person is concerned about it.
Documents: Anti-Redskins Indian
leader not a legitimate member of his tribe. The American Indian leader spearheading the campaign to change the name of the Washington Redskins
is not a legitimate member of the tribe he leads, according to a New York State Assemblywoman, but rather an Obama crony who is raking in casino money and
paying back only small stipends to his tribe members.
Anti-Redskins campaigner runs abusive tribal
government, Oneida members say. Ray Halbritter, the disputed tribal leader pushing for the Washington Redskins to change their team name, employs a crisis
communications firm that also represents CashForGold.com and a lawyer who represents IRS scandal figure Lois Lerner as he struggles to protect a casino empire that
disenfranchises valid members of the Oneida Nation.
The Editor says...
The team's name may be a harmful and derisive stereotype, but it certainly brings in heap big wampum! Isn't it amusing that people pay good money
to watch grown men break each other's ribs, and then whimper about hurting the feelings of perpetual victims who, by and large, have never complained
about this issue.
It's Time to Worry. We
have a nonsensical battle going on now over the name of the Washington Redskins, a name the team has carried proudly for more than 80 years.
President Obama weighed in on it, why I don't know. He told the Associated Press that if it "was offending a sizable group of people, I'd think about
changing it." Is that how we determine our free speech rights now? We take a poll and if enough people are offended, we limit the rights of the
Obama wades into debate over NFL Washington Redskins'
name. Obama said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name, which American Indians and others have long pilloried as racist.
'Meet the Press' weighs in on Redskins name controversy.
"The Redskins name has existed for 80 years," team attorney Lanny Davis said. "The original coach of the Redskins was a Native American, "This is about loving an athletic team.
It's not about disrespecting or disparaging anyone. But Davis' explanation isn't good enough for those who have a problem with the name, including the Oneida Nation, which protested when
the Redskins faced the Packers earlier this season.
D.C. Council may push Washington Redskins into 'Washington Redtails'. A D.C.
Council member is preparing to introduce a resolution calling on the Washington Redskins to change its name, perhaps to the Washington
Redtails. Council member David Grosso, an independent elected last year, said he plans to pursue his non-binding resolution because
the current name is "a derogatory, racist name."
Race-Hustling Results: Part II. The argument is
that American Indians are offended by the name, though there is no compelling evidence that most American Indians are worked up about it. Nor is there any evidence
that anyone intended the name to be insulting, either by this team or any number of other sports teams that have called themselves some variation of the name "Indians." [...]
Nevertheless, Dartmouth, Stanford and other colleges that once called their teams Indians succumbed to the politically correct pressures and changed their names.
But that is no reason why the Washington Redskins should succumb to those pressures.
71% don't think Redskins should change name. Washington's NFL club said Thursday [1/2/2014] that a poll showing public support for
the team keeping its name "demonstrates continued, widespread and deep opposition to the Redskins changing our name." The poll
released by Public Policy Polling on Thursday found that 71% do not think the team should change its name, while 18% said the team
should change it and 11% said they are not sure.
Why the Redskins Get Under Their Skin. President Obama hasn't
brought about hope and change nor have they turned America into the socialist paradise. With no hope or change to be found, they have to be aggrieved and angry
about something. The more trivial that something, the better. The Left lusts for power to change anything it can anywhere it can regardless of whether
anything better actually comes of that change. So at this moment, The Left wants to make the name Redskins unacceptable in polite society.
says Redskins will never change name. Daniel Snyder is owner of the Washington pro football team he grew up adoring.
Would he ever consider changing the team name that many American Indians and others believe is a racial slur? "We will never change
the name of the team," Snyder told USA TODAY Sports this week.
The 10 members of
Congress demanding the Redskins change their name. Ten members of Congress have sent a letter to Washington Redskins team owner Dan
Snyder, demanding that he change the name of his NFL team. "Native Americans throughout the country consider the R-word a racial, derogatory
slur akin to the N-word among African Americans or the W-word among Latinos," the letter reads.
Supreme Court Asked if
"Redskins" Offends. A group of American Indians who find the Washington Redskins' name
offensive wants the Supreme Court to take up the matter.
Columnist: Native Americans Who Support Redskins' Name Are 'Uncle Toms'. CBSSports.com writer Mike Freeman wants the
Washington Redskins to change their team name, and thinks any American Indian who doesn't feel the same way is a new "Uncle Tom."
"Sure, there will be some Uncle Tom American Indians who will say Redskins honors them, just like there were some Uncle Tom blacks who
once didn't mind being called colored," Freeman wrote.
The Editor asks...
Since when is the Supreme Court in charge of keeping people from being offended?
Court rejects case regarding Redskins name. The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from a group
of Native Americans who think the name of the NFL's Washington Redskins football team is offensive.
Other 'Allegedly Offensive' Team Names That The Left Isn't Complaining About. All
across the nation, Americans are cheering for sports teams that have mascots that would be deemed
offensive by the Obama administration's terms. If they can get away with bullying the Redskins just
because its name offends a few people, then what's stopping them from pursuing the others? Here
are 20 sports teams whose names are as laughably "offensive" as the Redskins, and what we think the
PC Police on the left would say about them: [...]
'Civil Rights' Versus Sports Teams
Named After Indians: The US Patent and Trademark Office even stripped the
Washington Redskins of their trademark, citing a 1946 law banning the registration of
"disparaging, scandalous, contemptuous, or disreputable" names. (The decision is on
appeal.) Does it really need to be pointed out how idiotic all this is?
Back to the Sports page
Back to the Home page