Earlier today, the US Patent and Trademark office ruled that the Washington Redskins, which have been in existence since 1932, no longer have trademark protection on their name because it has been deemed “disparaging to Native Americans”. Many believe that the landmark decision will essentially force the franchise to change its name – something owner Daniel Synder has not been in favor of doing. As we’re all aware, there is precedent here. A number of college programs – St. John’s, Marquette and Miami (OH) – have had to change their names because of the same issue.
Upon hearing of the ruling, Miami (OH), which itself used to be the Redskins before changing over to the RedHawks in 1997, poked a bit of fun at the NFL franchise on Twitter.
— Miami Athletics (@MiamiRedHawks) June 18, 2014
Should Washington eventually give in and change the name, it’ll be very, very interesting to see which direction they go in. While RedHawks wouldn’t be terrible, we’ll assume it’s an unlikely answer.