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New Poll Shows 9 Out of 10 Native Americans Not Offended by “Redskins” Name
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Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins’ fans. Photo courtesy of Give Me Sports.

Source: The Washington Post’s most recent poll may be used in a trademark dispute between Native Americans and the Washington Redskins.

Nine out of ten Native Americans are not offended by the name “Redskins” a new poll shows, and the Washington Redskins plan to use the poll in their legal battle to preserve the trademark which activists have deemed offensive.

  
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The poll, conducted by the Washington Post, confirms a similar study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center; but even with the favorable data, it may not help the Redskins’ case because the opinions fall outside of the timeframe that the courts are supposed to look at.

Native Americans first sued the Washington Redskins almost twenty-five years ago, saying the name violates the 1946 Lanham Act. The act bans federal trademark registrations for things that may disparage beliefs, people, symbols, or institutions. Native Americans have argued that the name “Redskins” is a racial slur, and the team counters that the name was intended to honor Native Americans.

According to The Washington Post, “The courts have focused on two things: whether Native Americans felt disparaged by the name between 1967 and 1990, when the Redskins obtained its six federal trademark registrations, and whether the Lanham Act violates the team’s First Amendment rights.”

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In 2015, a judge cancelled the Redskins’ trademark, citing that the team’s name was offensive between 1967 to 1990. The team is appealing the decision.

The lead plaintiff for the case, Amanda Blackhorse, 34, denounced the recent Washington Post poll.



“The act of polling a human rights issue is absurd. It trivializes the reports and experiences of those native people who’ve been hurt and damaged by native stereotypes and by the Washington team name,” Blackhorse said.

The activists are being represented by Jesse Witten of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

The Washington Redskins is being represented by Lisa Blatt of Arnold & Porter. She declined to comment for the story, but the team’s attorneys have argued in court that the Lanham Act violates free-speech rights. They said the government should not be allowed to revoke trademarks based on what it finds disparaging. They cited a list of offensively-named company products such as “Take Yo Panties Off clothing” and “Midget Man condoms” that were allowed to keep their trademarks as examples of its subjectivity.

So what do you think about the name “the Washington Redskins” and this case? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Washington Post



 

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