May 12, 2013

Snyder: We'll never change "Redskins"

Why ‘NEVER’ Abandoning ‘Redskins’ As His Team’s Name Might Soon Cost Dan Snyder A Lot Of Money

By Travis WaldronGrosso’s non-binding resolution is the least of the Redskins’ worries. The big threat to the team and its owner, Dan Snyder, is the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which in February heard a case petitioning it to classify the word “Redskin” as a derogatory slur: as such, it wouldn’t be eligible for trademark protection. But even if it loses that case, the team will “NEVER” change its name, Snyder told the USA Today on Thursday:“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA TODAY Sports this week. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”

What if his football team loses an ongoing federal trademark lawsuit? Would he consider changing it then?

“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”
The trademark case won’t be resolved anytime soon—probably not until next year, and it will likely see appeals after that. The board stripped the Redskins of their trademark in 1999, only to have the decision overturned on a technicality (that petitioners waited too long to file their claim) in 2003. But the basic case is pretty strong: “Redskins” is plainly derogatory, a racial marker that various dictionaries define as “offensive” and a “term of disparagement,” and petitioners have this time structured the case in a manner that should avoid the timing technicality. Native Americans and activists have fought its use for years, with one, Clem Iron Wing, reportedly telling a school board in Wichita, Kansas—where a high school uses the nickname—that the “only way ‘redskin’ was ever used towards my people and myself was in a derogatory manner.” Pay close enough attention to the debate, and you’ll notice that no one—not even Snyder—defends the term on the grounds that it isn’t racist or derogatory. Instead, they argue that the team should keep it because it’s “tradition” and because 79 percent of Americans support it.
Comment:  For more on the Washington Redskins, see "Inuit Chief" Supports Washington Redskins and Cooperstown Changes "Redskins" to "Hawkeyes".


dmarks said...

I am not fond of lawsuit pressure when it is related to freedom of expression, but on the other hand, I am not fond of ridiculous "Trademark the sky" protections for copyrighted material. This seems like a quite good approach.

Now, why doesn't Snyder instead focus on having a winning team?

Anonymous said...

Because Washington's fans are more about their delusions of persecution wrt: their name, so they don't need to win. Hell, winning would ruin the drama.

Anonymous said...

except they had a winning team last year.

it's amusing that the people who want to claim the term redskin is racist and unfairly labeling a group of people are the first to do it in their comments. good to see even obscure comic blogs have their own share of ignorant posters who just put people on blast instead of having a legitimate discussion. 2 comments and the whole post loses its weight. bravo