August 12, 2006

R-word tackled again

Indians Once Again Challenge Redskins NameA group of Native Americans filed a new legal challenge yesterday to trademarks for the name and logo of the Washington Redskins, saying the team's name is a racial slur that should be changed.

A petition filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by six Native Americans represents a second chance for Indians to challenge the football franchise's name. The team prevailed in an earlier fight when a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the plaintiffs waited too long under trademark law to object. This time, the complaint was filed with a new set of plaintiffs.
Mascots debate:  Fight progressing, but work is left to do"Nothing is more important to Native Americans than the way we are portrayed by pro, college and high school level sports teams and the way we are portrayed in the minds and hearts of the people who support and read about those teams," said George Benge, moderator of a discussion titled "Mascots and Stereotypes: Solutions."

"The term 'Redskins' is an extraordinarily insensitive and derogatory term and one that should not be granted exclusive trademark licenses by the federal government," said Suzan Shown Harjo of The Morning Star Institute, a nonprofit American Indian advocacy group and lead petitioner in the original case in 1992.

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