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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Washington Redskins owner: We will never change team nickname

Washington Redskins helmetThe Washington Redskins are frequently criticized for their offensive nickname. There has been discussion over the years about the Redskins changing their name. Many teams have been pressured to change their offensive logos and/or nicknames, including another team from the DC — the Washington Bullets, which converted to the Washington Wizards in 1997. But team owner Daniel Snyder says he will never change the team’s nickname, regardless of the scrutiny they face, and regardless of how offensive the nickname is.

“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA TODAY Sports this week. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”

Snyder says he would not even change the team’s nickname if they lose an ongoing federal trademark lawsuit.

“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

In March, a group of Native Americans appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to argue that the “Redskins should lose their federal trademark protection, based on a law that prohibits registered names that disparaging, scandalous, contemptuous or disreputable.”

The Redskins were stripped of the trademark in 1999, but the ruling was overturned in 2003 largely because the courts decided the plaintiffs were too old and should have decided to file suit earlier in their lives. The new suit is from younger people.

There is no denying that the name “Redskins” is offensive. What Snyder has in his favor is tradition and the fervent support of a huge fan base, which includes many politicians.



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