NAACP Statement on U.S. Patent Office’s Decision to Cancel the Washington Football Team’s Trademark

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, a second such decision following decades of complaints that the name disparages Native Americans.

From Hilary O. Shelton, Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy:

“The NAACP commends the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for their strong opposition to the racist and discriminatory name of the Washington Football Team, as well as other sports’ team names that degrade American Indians. It is our hope that the team owner Daniel Snyder would heed the board’s ruling and refrain from the use of the name, images and mascots that are deemed harmful and demeaning to the American Indian community. The NAACP has called specifically for this name change since 1992, and will continue to stand with the Native Indian community until the derogatory moniker has been changed."


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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