Redskins' Trademarks Cancelled for 'Disparaging' Native Americans

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An appeal board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the trademark registrations for the NFL's Washington Redskins, saying the team's name disparages Native Americans. The Redskins plan to appeal. Though the ruling wouldn't force the team to change its name, the Redskins have already come under heat for cultural insensitivity, with President Obama among those criticizing the moniker. But Redskins owner Dan Snyder has sworn he will never change it, and argues that it honors Native Americans. What does the decision mean for the Redskins, and for other sports teams like the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Blackhawks?


Geoffrey Nunberg, author, adjunct professor in UC Berkeley's School of Information, commentator for NPR's "Fresh Air" and former chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary