The Washington Redskins trademark fight is just starting and it is possible that the Redskins owners will take the appeals case all the way to the Supreme Court. But if the judges rule that the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (USPTO) was correct what could that mean for other sports team that the PC police may consider offensive?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, right before the Redskins trademark was revoked 50 Democratic Senators, plus Harry Reid, signed a letter to the NFL asking them to force the Redskins owners to change their name. In response, Redskins team President Bruce Allen claimed they have “always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans,” and owner Daniel Snyder claimed only 10 percent of Native Americanssupport a Redskins name change based upon polling data. But now that the Redskins trademark is gone some people claim the Washington Redskins name change will be a money decision since supposedly third parties will be able to make Redskins merchandise without permission, which is something that trademark lawyers dispute.
The main reason the USPTO decide to revoke the Redskins trademark was because they say a third of all Native Americans consider the term an ethnic slur:
“The record establishes that, at a minimum, approximately thirty percent of Native Americans found the term REDSKINS used in connection with respondent’s services to be disparaging at all times.”
This is not the first time the Redskins trademark has gone to courts. Back in 2003 a Federal court reversed the USPTO decision said the evidence “is insufficient to conclude that during the relevant time periods the trademark at issue disparaged Native Americans…. The Court concludes that the [Board’s] finding that the marks at issue ‘may disparage’ Native Americans is unsupported by substantial evidence, is logically flawed, and fails to apply the correct legal standard to its own findings of fact.” The dissenting opinion of the current board also claims “the same evidence previously found insufficient to support cancellation” here “remains insufficient.” The team maintains that the Redskins name was created by former owner George Marshall in the 1930’s as a tribute to Native Americans, not as a “disparaging” remark.
But let us assume the PC police win and the Supreme Court upholds the revocation of the Redskins trademark. The potential for many other teams goes a long way. For example, the PC police would say the Cleveland Indians’ logo of a red-skinned Native American is obviously racist, never mind the Chicago Blackhawks whose logo is very similar in design. The Duke Blue Devils may be considered disparaging by satanists for their portrayal of Satan. The U.S. Military Academy Black Knights could be considered offensive to African Americans. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are just portraying a negative racial stereotype and maybe the same could be said for the Boston Celtics.
The PC police could even make the Redskins trademark dispute even more absurd. Critics of the Minnesota Vikings may not like being associated with men who raped and pillaged much of Europe. The San Francisco Giants are clearly insulting tall men sensitive about their height. The Miami Hurricanes may make people who have suffered from real hurricanes feel bad about themselves. The Orlando Magic could be insulting to Wiccans and anyone who claims to practice real magic. The Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres are just trying to convert everyone with stealth Christianity, you know?
What do you think about the fight over the Washington Redskins trademark?