Washington Redskins’ Trademark Cancelled By Judge
Uh oh! NFL franchise, the Washington Redskins, were dealt a blow in court recently, when a federal judge on Wednesday (July 8) ordered the cancellation of the team's trademark registration, ruling that the name may be disparaging to Native Americans.
According to ESPN, the ruling does not bar the team from using the Redskins name if it wishes. They can still even sue for trademark infringement, but may be tougher now that they no longer have the legal protections that come with a federally registered trademark.
Redskins president Bruce Allen said the team will appeal.
"I am surprised by the judge's decision to prevent us from presenting our evidence in an open trial," Allen said in a statement Wednesday. "We look forward to winning on appeal after a fair and impartial review of the case. We are convinced that we will win because the facts and the law are on the side of our franchise that has proudly used the name Redskins for more than 80 years."
Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative and the leader of the Change the Mascot campaign, which works to educate the public on the damaging nature of the "redskin" moniker, issued a statement in response to Allen.
"If something happening decades ago was reason alone to continue doing it, then America would still have Jim Crow laws and Confederate flags would still be flying on top of state capitol buildings. Bruce Allen's comments perfectly illustrate why the NFL has a crisis on its hands: at a time when America is demanding an end to outdated symbols of bigotry, one of the league's teams insists on continuing to promote, market and profit off an offensive and racist symbol.
"The NFL must take action against an owner and his team, which have clearly lost control of themselves to the point where they are going to court to try to continue slurring people of color."