Trademark or Slur

Originally posted 2018-09-03 5:03:09

By Tasha Schmidt |


An intense debate and trial has been going on concerning the Washington Redskin’s name in reference to “Redskins.” Their general manager Bruce Allen has attended the first hearing for the trademark last Thursday. The case is not just as simple as declaring the word “redskins” a slur. If it is proven that it is a slur, then it should and will not have federal trademark protection. The name “Washington Redskins” has to be proven to be a term that was used in a disgraceful and slight way from 1967 to the 1990’s when the team was granted their trademarks. Five Native American petitioners are bringing the case forward to the Washington Redskins football team. It does not appear that there will be a resolution anytime soon. Similar rulings have taken about 17 years to go through the legal system only to find out that the Supreme Court would be declining to intervene.

The Redskins argue that they do not mean to offend anyone and that the name actually honors the Native Americans. If the trademark protection goes through, the Redskins can still not be stopped from using the name. However, the team, from a marketing perspective, would be hurt financially. A number of Native Americans claim to continue to be offended by the name, but then, on the other hand, Bruce Allen, the Washington Redskin’s GM, believes strongly that the name is simply just history to be proud of.

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