In 2009 the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling that ended a 17 year battle between the NFL Washington Redskins organization and Native American activists.  The activists were arguing the Washington Redskins football team name as being so offensive that they should not receive trademark protection.  The American trademark law states that a name being used cannot "disparage . . . persons, living or dead, . . . or bring them into contemp, or disrepute."
    The Washington team had the "Redskin" name since 1933.  They were federal trademarks on the name in 1967.  That same year a group of Native American activists challenged this and in 1970, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the name could be looked at as being offensive to Native Americans.  The Washington franchise appealed that ruling and the issue worked its way back and forth through the legal system until it finally reached the Supreme Court in 2009.  The Washington Redskin franchise won this battle due to the "legal theory of laches - the plantiffs waited too long to commence their lawsuit to ban the trademark."  The Supreme Court did not rule on the basis of racism and would not comment further. 

Native American
Point of View:

The Native Americans deeply thought that the names, symbols and mascots offensive and brought it to court.

Unfortunately for the Native Americans, they lost the debate.

Native Americans felt it was a violation of their anti-discriminatory laws.

Activists felt name was offensive and racist.

Tony Gonzales, Director of the American Indian Movement West, based in San Francisco, feels the President needs to intervene.

Cite psychological studies that research cultural damage from the negative Native American mascot names being used.

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Washington Redskins
 Point of View:

The Washington NFL franchise had held the "Redskin" name since 1933.  
 
They were given federal trademarks on the name in 1967.

Millions has been spent on the brandname and they would have lost a lot of money if needed to change this name.


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