Government agency calls ‘Redskins’ offensive

Sports and Society Administrator January 15, 2014 0

Lisa Desjardins | January 8, 2014

The heated debate over the Washington Redskins name has now moved beyond living rooms and corporate offices to the U.S. government itself, with one agency making an unequivocal ruling that the term “Redskins” is offensive slang.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected an application to trademark the name “Redskins Hog Rind,” writing that the term “Redskins” is “a derogatory slang term that refers to, and is considered offensive by, American Indians.”

The agency cited five definitions from online dictionaries - from The Oxford Dictionary to Yahoo – that labeled the word as offensive or disparaging. In addition the agency pointed to news articles about Native American challenges to the Redskins name, including the policy of the National Congress of American Indians, which officially refers to the team as the “R*dskins” or “R Word”.

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