In a move that will have white grandfathers in middle America riled up for days, the US Patent and Trademark Office has denied the Redskins federal trademark protections.
This decision came after a hearing by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, called for by a group of Native Americans tired of seeing beefy, overpaid athletes and their fans sport uniforms and assorted merchandise emblazoned with a racist caricature and term.
This ruling was two decades in the making and the second one of its kind, following an identical decision made in 1999 that was overturned in 2003 on a technicality.
In anticipation of the ruling, Redskins’ owner Daniel Synder created the Original American’s Foundation in March, pledging to offer financial support to Native American tribes.
— RYOT NEWS (@RYOTnews) June 18, 2014
“In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words,” said Synder. What a clever turn of phrase, sir.
In response, Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter said ”We are also hopeful that in his new initiative to honor Native Americans’ struggle, Mr. Snyder makes sure people do not forget that he and his predecessor, George Preston Marshall, a famous segregationist, have made our people’s lives so much more difficult by using a racial slur as Washington’s team’s name.”
It’s clear Synder’s attempt to to look less like a racist moneygrubber was simply a PR stunt to maintain his millions, as the Redskins are appealing the decision right away while simultaneously insisting the ruling is just so, so silly and meaningless:
Raskopf: Today’s ruling will have no effect at all on team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name & logo. pic.twitter.com/LF22aDlN62
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) June 18, 2014
”We’ve seen this story before,” said Redskins’ attorney Bob Raskopf. ”And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo. We are confident we will prevail once again.”
Well, that’s what General Custer thought, too. Fingers crossed for history repeating itself.
Image via YouTube