A protest against the Washington NFL team's racist mascot. Photo: Fibonacci Blue
Opinion | Sports

Editorial: No victory for Washington NFL team's racist trademarks

The legal battle over the Washington NFL team's racist trademarks is over. But The Washington Post 's editorial board isn't celebrating and calls on owner Dan Snyder to change the name:
The team’s name is still as hurtful and offensive as ever, and the controversy it stirs will likely only intensify, not go away. So pardon us for not offering our congratulations.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision affirming core free-speech principles in a case brought by an Asian American band calling itself the Slants, the Justice Department last week moved to end the football team’s case. It sent a letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that moved for dismissal with a judgment in favor of the team. The suit stemmed from the 2014 decision of a federal trademark appeal board to cancel the National Football League team’s trademark registrations on the grounds that they were disparaging of Native Americans and, as such, ran afoul of 70-year-old federal law prohibiting registration of trademarks likely to disparage people or groups.

The same citation had been used by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when it refused in 2011 to allow the Slants to register its name, a decision the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in a unanimous ruling June 19.

Read More on the Story:
Editorial: The Washington football team’s legal victory isn’t a win worth celebrating (The Washington Post 7/4)

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Matal v. Tam:
Syllabus | Opinion [Alito] | Concurrence [Kennedy] | Concurrence [Thomas]

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