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Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks 646

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sure-this-will-pass-without-debate dept.
BillCable writes: Politico reports, "In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the 'Washington Redskins' team name because it was found to be 'disparaging' to Native Americans. 'We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,' the PTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote. The panel voted 2-1 in favor of the decision." Perhaps this move will speed up the inevitable name change, which was expected within the next few years."
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Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

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  • by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @04:30PM (#47265963) Homepage
    I would suggest you look at the people behind the token natives being pranced up there. A few of them are from where I live and guess what, they are not in good standing in the area any longer because they are being paid to pretend to be outraged right now.
  • Re:Free Speech (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @04:30PM (#47265965) Homepage Journal

    Nobody has a right to be un-offended.

    And no one has a right to trademark a racial slur. No one is stopping them from continuing to use the name, and now they can't stop anyone else from using it also.

    So why are you so mad about it? Freedom has increased, yet you're the one offended.

  • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @04:30PM (#47265971) Homepage

    The Blackhawks are named after an Army unit, which was named after a guy. There have been protests over the logo, but the name isn't particularly offensive to anyone. There is virtually no chance that any other major team name would be found "disparaging".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_(Sauk_leader)

  • by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @04:40PM (#47266125) Homepage
    we are trying to figure out the money trail now, But we can tell you that as soon as they started being quoted and going on TV they all of a sudden had all sorts of new clothes, a new car, and no reason that they should have been able to afford it. There are 2 people in my area so far that this has happened with, and the rest of us are not happy
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @04:42PM (#47266137)

    I'm not sure that's in the same league as Redskin. The Blackhawks were name after a Sauk chief. Redskin has been a derogatory term for Native Americans.

    What about Red Mesa High School [maxpreps.com]?

    Yep, Red Mesa High School calls themselves the Redskins.

    It's on a Navajo reservation.

    Kinda blows up that "derogatory" claim, doesn't that?

  • No laws have changed, but what was once perfectly acceptable — indeed, a registered trademark — no longer is. And the other way around.

    "Redskins" are just a name, but there are worse signs of the changes... For example, University of Hawaii recently prohibited a student group to hand-out copies of the Constitution [moonbattery.com]. The administrators' reasoning was: "This isn’t really the ’60s anymore" and "people can’t really protest like that anymore".

    Obviously, the First Amendment has not changed in 50 years, it is just being reinterpreted. And so is the understanding of "disparaging".

  • Re:My two cents (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rlwhite (219604) <rogerwhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @04:52PM (#47266241)

    White Demons. I'd like to see that as a team name and logo.

  • by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @05:08PM (#47266415)

    I'm not sure that's in the same league as Redskin. The Blackhawks were name after a Sauk chief. Redskin has been a derogatory term for Native Americans.

    What about Red Mesa High School [maxpreps.com]?

    Yep, Red Mesa High School calls themselves the Redskins.

    It's on a Navajo reservation.

    Kinda blows up that "derogatory" claim, doesn't that?

    Yes, just like the rap group NWA (Nigga's With Attitude). Or that the term "nigga" has been embraced by many in poorer parts of the black community. Please feel free to use that term to describe someone while in any inner city. I'm sure once you make this rational argument everything will be fine.

    Actually the term "nigger" has become so offensive that just stating it is somehow offensive. Even when not using it as derogatory term but to quote someone. I'll probably be modded a troll or flamebait just for pointing this out. Grown educated people have gotten to the point that they now sound like 6 year old children. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I here people call it "The N-word".

    Many younger people of the Jewish faith refer to each other as "heeb". There's even a "Heeb Magazine" [heebmagazine.com] But you can't be a (black or white) non-Hebrew and use this term.

    Gays are allowed to, and do you the term "fag". But if you're heterosexual, and refer to someone as a "fag" it's homophobic.

    I really hate this kind of crap. If it's alright for one group of people to use a term, but not another it's racist. Either the term is offensive, or it isn't. There's no modifier because of the color of your skin, your ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. And what ever happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"? We've turned into a society of whiny little bitches. Oh damn, someone is going to accuse me of being discriminatory toward female canines and claim that I kill puppies.(/sarcasm)

  • Full of shit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @05:10PM (#47266433) Homepage Journal

    Not one person here that I know is offended by the name the redskins

    The general counsel for the Onondaga Nation is rather offended by it:

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/i... [syracuse.com]

    Your "spiritual leader" is no fan of it either:

    http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/... [syracuse.com]

    So I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're full of shit. What's up with your spelling of "onodaga" anyway?

  • by DutchUncle (826473) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @05:21PM (#47266583)
    I can understand some native americans being upset about this kind of names, and I can also understand others (posting above) saying they don't care. What I find strange is that people usually want to name their teams something positive and powerful (other than frat league when you name your team the Nads so that people can cheer Go, Nads!). The various Indian-themed sports team names were all intended to be powerful positive *winning* labels, not insults, to the teams they were being applied to; and by inference positive references, not insults, to their namesakes. Consider how strange it is to name your new team after what was once considered a hated enemy - who lost! Clearly the might and power of that enemy is being honored to some degree. (Though George Carlin might compare it to suburbs where we cut down all the trees and then name the streets in their memory.)
  • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @05:47PM (#47266877) Homepage Journal

    I fail to see how the joke is disparaging to Catholics.

    As a Catholic, I fail to see the disparagement myself. ;)

    Thx for the explanation though.

    It's presumably because the finches called "cardinals" are notable for the males being mostly bright red. Catholic Cardinals' formal dress is bright red, and the birds were in fact named after the Catholic dudes who wear similar colors for official occasions.

    Granted, this is a rather tenuous connection, and it's not obvious how there's any disparagement to either the birds or the priests in the names. It's just a mental connection based on a superficial color similarity.

    But some people can infer disparagement from almost anything you say.

  • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @05:58PM (#47266981)

    Actually it was a term indians used to refer to themselves; you can easily find writing from various indian leaders who used the term.

    Indeed. In fact, the name of the state Oklahoma means "red people" and was suggested by a Native American leader [wikipedia.org]:

    The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw phrase okla humma, literally meaning red people. Choctaw Chief Allen Wright suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government regarding the use of Indian Territory, in which he envisioned an all-Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Equivalent to the English word Indian, okla humma was a phrase in the Choctaw language used to describe the Native American race as a whole.

    So, the logical question is -- if we are required to change the name of a sports team for referring to the "red skins," shouldn't we also be having a discussion about changing the name of the state Oklahoma?

  • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @08:16PM (#47268181) Homepage Journal

    So, the logical question is -- if we are required to change the name of a sports team for referring to the "red skins," shouldn't we also be having a discussion about changing the name of the state Oklahoma?

    Because Oklahoma is not normally considered a pejorative. "Redskin" or "injun" usually are.

    That's because English-speaking people generally have no idea what "Oklahoma" originally meant.

    Going down this path could lead to a lot of problems, though, since the terms in most languages for their neighbors would have to be discarded and replaced by something less offensive to the people described.

    Thus, some of my ancestors are Welsh, but they don't call themselves that in the Welsh language, they use forms of the word "Cymru" to refer to their own people. "Welsh" is an old Germanic/Anglo-Saxon word that means "strange" or "foreign" (and still means that in German).

    For that matter, the German language has no word similar to "German"; they refer to themselves with various forms of the word "deutsch" (which is related to "teuton" and bsically just means "people"). But my favorite such term is the Russians' word for Germans: "Nemets". Anyone who has taken first-year Russian understands the derivation of this term: it means "no-mind". It's hardly even phonetically reduced; it's just the word "ne" (negative prefix) plus the word "mets" (mind). (The 'n' and 'm' are soft, FWIW. ;-)

    While it's hard to be more insulting than that, such names for neighbors are quite common around the world. Often the words go back so far that only a few historians understand the insulting origins. (But the Russian term can't be whitewashed; its meaning is clear to even a beginning student of the language.)

    Imagine the fuss if we had to replace all such names that have insulting origins.

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