The Redskins got some bad news Wednesday when the U.S. Patent Office canceled the team’s trademark registration, because the team name is “disparaging to Native Americans.” This means that the team could lose its federally trademarked protections. That would cause the team to change the name, depending on how much the NFL pressures Washington for a potential loss of revenue.
The sports editor of the Seattle Times, Don Shelton, is refusing the term ‘Redskins’ cross their printing machines.
“It’s time to ban the use of ‘Redskins,’ the absurd, offensive and outdated name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C.,” Shelton wrote. “Past time, actually … We’re banning the name for one reason: It’s offensive. Far from honoring Native Americans, the term colors an entire race. Many Native Americans consider it an outdated label placed on their people.”
They’re not the first media outlet to do this. TheMMQB.com doesn’t use the term and neither do the Kansas City Star, the Oregonian, the Orange County Register and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Shelton says that when he was hired as sports editor five years ago, he convinced himself that a decision that had been made 15 years earlier to minimize the use of the name was good enough. He explains that the name was allowed to be used once per article, but not in headlines and photo captions.
Shelton is no longer happy with these terms and has gone to great lengths to stop the usage and says that no matter the feedback, it’s not changing.
“Still, your feedback won’t change our decision,” Shelton wrote. “Some things are too important to be put to a vote.”