Jul 12th 2008 7:37AM by Michael David Smith (author feed)
Filed under: Redskins
A group of American Indians has spent the last 16 years suing to get the Washington Redskins’ trademark on the name “Redskins” revoked, contending the the term is offensive and that offensive terms can’t be trademarked.
A judge ruled yesterday on the Redskins’ behalf, but the ruling was a technicality that sidestepped the issue of whether the name “Redskins” is offensive.
“She ruled as we anticipated she would: for the loophole that would allow everyone to avoid the merits of the case,” said Harjo, president of the Washington-based Morning Star Institute that advances Native American causes.
Eventually, the Redskins and the NFL are going to have to accept the fact that legal technicalities aren’t going to work forever, and that some judge is going to rule that “Redskins” is offensive and revoke the team’s trademark. At that point, the team and the league will be forced to make a decision: Lose tens of millions of dollars a year in merchandising, or find a new team name.
There’s not much doubt in my mind that at some point in my lifetime, the football team in Washington won’t be called the Redskins.