Redskins Forced To Change Name? Daniel Snyder May Lose Trademark Status on 'Redskins,' Would Cost Team Millions of Dollars [VIDEO]
The Washington Redskins finally may have no choice but to change their controversial nickname, thanks to pork rinds.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the same federal agency that will decide whether the team will be allowed to keep the "Redskins" moniker recently denied a request from a company to sell pork rinds with the "Redskins" name.
The examining attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused an application to register the trademark, "Redskins Hog Rinds."
"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark REDSKINS HOG RINDS consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols," reads the letter, dated Dec. 29, as reported by the Washington Post.
The letter lists five definitions for the term, "Redskins," four of which describe it as offensive to Native Americans. The document also cites several news articles provide evidence that American Indians find the term offensive.
The letter, however, added that the applicant could respond to the refusal by submitting evidence and arguments in support of the term, USA TODAY Sports reported.
According to USA TODAY Sports, Amanda Blackhorse and a group of other American Indians filed a lawsuit in March to revoke Washington's federal trademark registration. A decision on that lawsuit by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board could come at any time.
It's the second lawsuit that has been filed in an attempt to revoke the Redskins' trademark. Suzan Harjo and seven other Native Americans filed in 1992, but the case was thrown out on a technicality. USA TODAY Sports reported that Harjo also organized the current lawsuit.
If the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board vote against the Redskins, the ruling wouldn't mean that the NFL team would have to change its name, but it would lose its trademark status. The team could not prevent anyone else from selling jerseys, T-shirts, or other items with the word "Redskins."
The team potentially could lose lots of money without the exclusive rights to term "Redskins." Washington team owner Daniel Snyder has steadfastly refused to consider changing the team's nickname.
"The USPTO ruling sends a powerful message to Washington team owner Dan Snyder and the NFL that in the name of basic decency and respect they should immediately stop spending millions of dollars to promote the R-word," Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter said in a statement.