U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has created a personal policy at his federal courtroom in Maryland to censor the name of the Washington Redskins from rulings he issues and court documents that mention the NFL team, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Judge Messitte disclosed his ruling in the footnote of the first page of a ruling he issued last week that dismissed claims made by ex-New York Giants linebacker Barrett Green who accused the Redskins of giving players financial rewards for injuring opposing athletes on purpose. Washington said that the allegations are “utterly baseless.”
The footnote said: “Pro Football’s team is popularly known as the Washington “Redskins,” but the Court will refrain from using the team name unless reference is made to a direct quote where the name appears. Pro Football’s team will be referred to hereafter simply as ‘the Washington Team.’”
The anti-Redskin stance from the judge comes just weeks after a federal agency pulled the trademark protection for the Washington Redskins. It was pulled because the nickname was said to be an insult to Native Americans. The Patent & Trademark Office issued a 2-1 ruling that the name was not worthy of protection from the federal government. The team has said that it will appeal the ruling.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a line from the Redskins-free opinion is as follows: “According to the Complaint, on December 5, 2004, Green, who was a defensive linebacker for the New York Giants, was playing in a game with the Washington team at the Washington team’s Maryland stadium.”
A spokesman from the team did not issue a comment on the policy.