Why the Redskins Should Be Able To Keep Their Name
The United States patent and Trademark Office called the Washington Redskins name 'disparaging to Native Americans' and canceled the team's trademarks.
The trademarks that were cancelled includes the team's name and past logos, but does not include it's current logo. This decision was made after petitions were signed by a substantial number of Native Americans who find the team's name to be offensive.
The ruling does not force the NFL or Redskin's owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's name, but trademarks that were registered between 1967 and 1990 will no longer be protected under federal law if the NFL and the Redskins lose an appeal that will be carried out in the U.S District court.
This isn't the first time that Snyder and the Redskins have dealt with this issue, in 1999 a panel ruled to cancel the team's trademarks but the decision was overturned in court. The Redskins will appeal the current ruling and will more than likely win the decision again. The appeal process could take years, however in the meantime the Redskins are able to use their current logo and their name as well.
Their is no doubt in my mind that the Redskins should be able to keep their name, and I do not feel that it is offensive to Native Americans. If nothing else the name honors Native Americans and supports them. The Redskin's name and logo are an NFL staple and have been a significant part of the league for years. There are numerous other teams throughout professional and collegiate sports that also use names that relate to Native Americans.
The only reason why so much attention is being paid to the Redskins and why some Native Americans are so adamant about changing the team's name is because of the way in which it is used. The United States is truly a meting pot and we as a nation represent the various cultures and ethnicities in our country in a variety of ways, one of which is through our sports franchises. Taking away the Redskin's name would cost the NFL and the team an overwhelming amount of money, but more importantly it is taking away a tradition and a team's right to express their freedom to represent a certain culture.
Anyway you look at this it is going to be a long battle that will inevitably take years to resolve. If they do end up changing the Redskin's name then it makes you wonder how many other sports franchises name's that may eventually be changed. Tradition is important and hopefully common sense will enable people to make the right decisions in this particular case.