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US Patent and Trademark Office rules against the Washington Redskins name

US Patent and Trademark Office rules against the Washington Redskins name
US Patent and Trademark Office rules against the Washington Redskins name
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

For over eighty years, the name “redskins” was used as Washington’s team nickname, fan chants, and battle cry for hundreds of thousands of football fans. “Redskins” became synonymous with “hail” and “brave” and “victory” as Washington fans joyfully and emphatically sing. But two centuries ago, the word “redskin” conjured a different meaning. Does the historical slang hold merit to change the current meaning of “redskins”? Some argue yes.

According to a June 18 ruling from the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Washington Redskins’ nickname is said to be "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's trademark protections should be canceled. The ruling states five persons who claim offense at the current use of the nickname.

The case that led to the decision has been working through legal channels for more than 15 years. It comes at a time of vocal criticism of team owner Dan Snyder from political, religious and sports figures who say it's time for a change.

The Washington Redskins office announced that they will appeal.

Redskins Park, the Richmond-based training headquarters for the Washington Redskins relocated 50 miles south of Fredericksburg in 2013.