USET Endorses Legislation to Revoke Trademarks of Washington NFL Team’s Racist Name

Source: USET Media Release

The prominent inter-tribal organization is supporting a bill that was introduced in the House of Representatives this week by Congressman Mike Honda

The United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) today strongly endorsed a bill that would remove all trademark protections of the Washington NFL team as long as the franchise retains the R-word racial slur as its team name.

Congressman Mike Honda introduced the legislation, entitled The Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act, this week in the U.S. House of Representative. The bill, which already has 26 co-sponsors, seeks to prevent any sports team from using a derogatory slur for Native Americans as its mascot and nickname.

“Congressman Honda has taken a bold stand against racism, discrimination and the continued denigration of Native Americans by introducing this legislation, which USET strongly supports,” said USET President Brian Patterson.  “If the NFL’s Washington’s franchise is unwilling to change the offensive mascot then steps should be taken, wherever possible, to eliminate public funding and trademark protections for a league that persists in offending and insulting Native peoples.”

The new House bill would retroactively cancel any existing federal trademarks and prohibit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from issuing new trademarks that use the term “r-dskins” in reference to Native Americans. It will also formally declare the word “r-dskins” a disparaging term when used in reference to Native Americans and therefore cannot be trademarked.

USET will hold its Welcome Reception Monday night, February 9th at 6PM.  The reception will feature Congressman Honda and USET leadership, who will reaffirm USET’s strong opposition to the continued use of the R-word and other negative imagery and stereotypes.  USET wishes to express support to Rep. Honda’s legislation that would remove the Washington football team of its name trademark protections. He will be provided podium time to make remarks.  The reception will be held in Salon four at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Virginia.

USET is a nationally recognized, non-profit, inter-tribal organization that collectively represents 26 member Tribes at the regional and national level. As a top organization addressing the issues facing Native Americans, USET has for years taken a leading role in demanding an end to the use of the racist R-word. Over the past two NFL seasons, USET and the national grassroots Change the Mascot campaign have garnered support from a diverse cross section of Americans including civil rights leaders, religious and human rights organizations, sports icons, political leaders from both parties and the President of the United States.

This week, USET will hold its annual Impact Week Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The four-day event including meetings with Members of Congress and various government organizations about top issues facing Indian Country, as well as a variety of cultural activities and celebrations.

Large Rally Planned in Minneapolis to Protest Washington NFL Team Thursday


All people are encouraged to attend. Everyone is encouraged to bring their hand drums.
All people are encouraged to attend. Everyone is encouraged to bring their hand drums.

By Levi Rickert, Native News Today

MINNEAPOLIS – The AIM Twin Cities, the Minneapolis-based chapter of the American Indian Movement, is holding a rally to continue to draw attention to the protest of the Washington NFL team’s continued use of the name that is offensive to most American Indians.

The rally is planned during the Minnesota Vikings and Washington team’s game on Thursday November 7. The rally will begin at 5:00 pm. Participants are asked to meet at the American Indian Center at 1530 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Participants will march from the American Indian Center to Mall of America Field and hold a rally against the Washington Football team, protesting team owner Dan Snyder’s refusal to change the team name and mascot, which is a racial slur and stereotype that is offensive to American Indians.

AIM Twin Cities calls on all those who support a mascot and name change for the Washington Football team to join together to encourage Dan Snyder to

“Retire the racist attire! Recognize that American Indians are a living people, not mascots for America’s fun and games!”

All people are encouraged to attend.

Rally organizers stated in a news release:

“Using American Indian slurs like the ‘R-word’ is no different than the use of Black Sambo which offended African Americans or the Frito Bandito which is offensive to the Hispanic community.”

“The continued use of American Indian likenesses and images by sports teams has resulted in widespread racial, cultural and spiritual stereotyping which promotes hatred and disrespect of American Indian people,”

the news release continues.

Drum groups are invited to bring their big drums. Everyone is encouraged to bring their hand drums.