“The Donald Sterling of the Senate” is at it again, but this time he’s got help from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on the Senate floor today that the trademark rights for the NFL’s Washington Redskins had been canceled on grounds that the brand is “disparaging to Native Americans.”
The football organization can still use the name, but this act of tyranny means they no longer own the exclusive rights. Anyone can use the Redskins brand for financial gain. Reid released a statement on Twitter, reiterating his desire that Redskisn owner Dan Snyder be “forced” to change the team’s name.
It’s only a matter of time until Daniel Snyder is forced to do the right thing and change the name.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 18, 2014
A long-time crusader for a Washington Redskins name-change, Reid recently came under fire from rapper Wale Folarin who said that the Nevada Senator was using the Redksins controversy for political gain.
Reid once remarked that he liked Barack Obama, because he is “light-skinned” with “no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.” He was forced to apologize for those remarks, but that didn’t stop him from being dubbed the “Donald Sterling of the Senate.” Sterling was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers after a recording was released with his disparaging remarks regarding African Americans.
Reid has developed a reputation for being one of the most tyrannical members of Congress in recent memory. He has refused to allow a vote on about 200 bills passed out of the House of Representatives, and he even changed a 200 year-old Senate rule that protected the minority so that he could ram through President Obama’s nominees more quickly.
Even if Reid’s intentions are somehow noble, shouldn’t the private sector sort this one out? Should citizens be “forced” to forfeit rights because of perceptions?
Check out The Washington Examiner’s article for the full scoop.
The Redskins organization will likely appeal the decision
In what some see as the first step to forcing the Washington Redskinsfootball team to change their name, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday cancelled six federal trademarks of the team name because it’s “disparaging” to Native Americans.
“Petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term REDSKINS to be disparaging,” said the decision.
Fans, however, won’t see any immediate change — even if Daniel Snyder’s team eventually loses in court. That’s because all the order will do is eliminate the trademark the team has on merchandise.
The Redskins are expected to appeal.
But opponents of the name were quick to pounce, expressing hope that it will lead Snyder to reconsider his devotion to the historic name of the team.
“I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed,” plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse said, according to Politico. “The team’s name is racist and derogatory.”
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid called the team name “racist.” He went to the Senate floor just after the trademark decision was made and said the team will be forced to change the name.