The Washington Redskins have been around since 1932.
However, only recently have the PC authoritarians gone after the team’s moniker with such fervor.
The sensibilities of the country have obviously changed in the last 85 years, but a Washington Post poll showed that 9 out of 10 Native Americans didn’t find the term offensive.
Now a recent Supreme Court ruling has caused the Department of Justice to back off its assault on the team name.
From Yahoo! Sports:
The Washington Redskins have notched the first victory of the 2017 NFL season, knocking off crosstown rival the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ has decided not to pursue its attempt to cancel Washington’s trademarks because of the potentially disparaging connotations in the “Redskins” name.
The writing was on the wall following the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Matal v. Tam. In that case, the justices ruled that an Asian-American band had the right to call itself “The Slants” despite the disparaging connotation of the name. That ruling thus would serve as precedent in the Redskins’ case, allowing the team to continue trademarking the name despite protests about its racially-based origins.
In Tam, the Court ruled that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office did not have the right to discriminate against “The Slants.” Trademark law barring insulting, racist, or otherwise critical terms had been on the books for 71 years, but the justices unanimously ruled that such a law infringed on rights to free speech. Washington had faced the possibility of losing its trademark, and thus a lucrative source of revenue, because of the Justice Department’s action.
But the Justice Department ended the Washington case, which dated to 2014, in a letter to the Richmond, Va.-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. “Consistent with Tam, the Court should reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Pro-Football,” wrote DOJ civil attorney Mark Freeman.
The Redskins met the Supreme Court news with relief and defiance:
Per SCOTUS ruling, here is the statement from #Redskins attorney Lisa Blatt:
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder remains one of the least popular owners in the NFL for a variety of reasons, from on-field woes to escalating financial burdens on fans. But he’s managed to unite Washington fandom with his declaration to keep the Redskins name for as long as he’s owner despite protests. Now, it seems he’s on far firmer ground with his stance.
The battle over the team name seems to be over. The fans don’t want it to change, and the owner certainly doesn’t either.
Now the Redskins can get back to more pressing matters – like finding new ways to lose the NFC East.