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The W - Football - Redskins win court case, can keep name
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XPacArmy
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Since: 13.5.03
From: Woodbridge, VA

Since last post: 297 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.94
NFL Team Can Keep 'Redskins' Trademark

(AP)A federal judge overturned a ruling revoking the Washington Redskins trademark, finding there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the name is disparaging to American Indians.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the ruling in connection with a 1999 decision by a panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But she also made clear that her ruling does not address the issue of whether the name "Redskins" actually is offensive to Indians.

Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson said the team hadn't reviewed the entire ruling but "from what we've been told by our attorneys, we are pleased."

The lawsuit began in 1992 when seven American Indians, led by Suzan Shown Harjo, asked the trademark office to cancel six trademarks containing the word "Redskin." In 1999, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted a petition to cancel the team's trademark registrations because of a federal law, the Lanham Act, that prohibits registering names if they are "disparaging, scandalous, contemptuous or disreputable."

If the team lost, it could have been stripped of the exclusive rights to market the Redskins name. Harjo said she hoped this would lead Snyder to change the team nickname, although he had pledged not to do so, regardless of the outcome of the case.

In her 84-page decision, issued late Tuesday, Kollar-Kotelly also found that the activists waited too long to make their claims under the law, which was in effect when the Redskins trademarks were registered in 1967.

Kollar-Kotelly criticized the trademark board for improperly relying on testimony from several linguists, which she said was too inconclusive. She also chastised the board for basing its decision in part on a 1996 survey of American Indians that found a majority found the term "Redskin" offensive.

"There is no evidence in the record that addresses whether the use of the term "redskin(s)" in the context of a football team and related entertainment services would be viewed by a substantial composite of Native Americans, in the relevant time frame, as disparaging," Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

Michael Lindsay, a lawyer for Harjo and the other petitioners, said his clients would consider an appeal.

"After a decade-long struggle and a unanimous victory before a three-judge panel before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, we are disappointed in the ruling, and the struggle continues."

The Washington Redskins were originally located in Boston and called the Boston Braves until they were purchased by George Preston Marshall in 1932. Marshall changed the name of the team in 1933 to the Boston Redskins in honor of the team's head coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz, who was an American Indian.

The team moved to Washington in 1937 and was renamed the Washington Redskins.

----------
I don't know how many times this keeps having to go back to court. I am not an Indians so maybe I don't see it, but I don't see how its really offensive. The only thing that is shocking to me in this article is the final paragraph and which they say the team is named after an Indian head coach. I did not know that. Oh well, with this out of the way, SUPER BOWL baby!!



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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Incidentally, there are numerous polls and stories reporting on the fact that a majority of Native Americans find do not find such names offensive. It's the (go figure) lunatic but vocal fringe making trouble.



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Zeruel
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
If I read that correctly, they have to prove that back in 1967 that the name was offensive to a majority of native americans, somthing that is hard to prove in 2003.

Yeah, they waited way to long (25 years back in 1992) to file that lawsuit.




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BigVitoMark
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Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.16
Does anyone know how they justified suing the Washington Redskins but not the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves? I'm very happy with this decision, but it seems to me that at least the Redskins logo is dignified...as opposed to Chief Wahoo and his big hokey grin and feather on his head, or the Braves and their tomahawk chop, which in any other context would probably be interpreted as stereotypical and degrading.
MoeGates
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Incidentally, there are numerous polls and stories reporting on the fact that a majority of Native Americans find do not find such names offensive. It's the (go figure) lunatic but vocal fringe making trouble.


Name 3.



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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54

    The Washington Redskins were originally located in Boston and called the Boston Braves until they were purchased by George Preston Marshall in 1932. Marshall changed the name of the team in 1933 to the Boston Redskins in honor of the team's head coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz, who was an American Indian.


Er, then why not name the team the Lone Stars? It seems more natural than naming the team after something like his cultural background. The Packers didn't become the Green Bay Guys From Brooklyn in honour of Vince Lombardi.

Incidentally, the Cleveland Indians also got their nickname as part of a tribute. Louis Sockalexis was a star player for the "Spiders" in the late 19th century, and thus the franchise was renamed after him after his retirement.

The nickname debate aside, how fucking cool is it that these guys got a whole TEAM named after them?





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Since: 4.11.02
From: Winchester, VA

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
I won't mind if the 'Skins change their name. What bothered me the most was that we'd have to find a new song to replace "Hail to the Redskins"!



Hail to the Redskins! Patrick Ramsey will own you! 15-1, here we come!
drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.88
    Originally posted by BigVitoMark
    Does anyone know how they justified suing the Washington Redskins but not the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves? I'm very happy with this decision, but it seems to me that at least the Redskins logo is dignified...as opposed to Chief Wahoo and his big hokey grin and feather on his head, or the Braves and their tomahawk chop, which in any other context would probably be interpreted as stereotypical and degrading.


Easy. The Redskins name was deemed offensive. The mascot... not so bad (my old middle school had a similar mascot) but the name itself was bad enough to merit the suit. With the other ones, the names were complimentary enough to avoid getting sued. Now, hopefully the Indians will phase out Wahoo and go with something less offensive. But I don't see anyone being able to stop the tomahawk chop aside from going to Turner Field and kneecapping everyone that does it.



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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1215 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by MoeGates
      Originally posted by Grimis
      Incidentally, there are numerous polls and stories reporting on the fact that a majority of Native Americans find do not find such names offensive. It's the (go figure) lunatic but vocal fringe making trouble.


    Name 3.


No links to raw data are available online that I can find doing a quick Google search. But polls are referenced in articles talking about the:

- Sports Illustrated poll(via N'Western U): 75% of Native Americans says names OK, 23 say their racist.

They're out there. Obviously I can't find the links in one sitting. But honestly, do you our smell test; find an Indian and ask them.

Irregardless, I don't see tall people picking the Giants. But then again, PETA protests the Packers. Maybe we should give the PC patrol their wish and not name anybody anything and nobody gets offended...



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Ffej
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Since: 15.1.02
From: Flatwoods, KY

Since last post: 2268 days
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Y!:
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
    Originally posted by BigVitoMark
    Does anyone know how they justified suing the Washington Redskins but not the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves? I'm very happy with this decision, but it seems to me that at least the Redskins logo is dignified...as opposed to Chief Wahoo and his big hokey grin and feather on his head, or the Braves and their tomahawk chop, which in any other context would probably be interpreted as stereotypical and degrading.


The tomahawk chop was actually started by Florida State:
http://seminoles.ocsn.com/trads/fsu-trads-chant.html

And the 'Noles also have approval from the Seminole Tribe to use Chief Osceola:
http://seminoles.ocsn.com/trads/fsu-trads-osceola.html

Personally, I am part Indian/Native American (my grandmother is a Cherokee and I had a great grandmother that was a Shawnee) and I am not offended by any of it except maybe Chief Wahoo.

I asked my Cherokee Grandmother and she said she was not offended by any of it. She felt like naming your teams after Indians was flattering. She did point out she has not really faced near the discrimination or blood shed our ancestors did, so they could have felt differently. She also said she could see how you could take "Redskins" as offensive, but naming your football tem after it didn't seem offensive to her.

Anyway there is an actual Native American's opinion.

EDIT: Spelling and stuff

(edited by Ffej on 2.10.03 1702)


WIENER OF THE DAY! July 6, 2002!

If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like "Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!" and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, "That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink.
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