The leading Republican candidate for governor Wednesday criticized a U.S. Patent Office ruling that cancelled the trademark for the Washington Redskins team nickname.
“Whether you’re a fan of the Redskins, the Ravens, or God forbid, the Cowboys; today’s unprecedented action by the US Patent Trade & Trademark Office should offend anyone concerned about Constitutional limits on government power and free speech,” said Larry Hogan in an emailed statement. “This matter should be decided by the Redskins and their fans without the politically-motivated interference of pandering state and federal politicians.”
A three-member panel Wednesday voted 2-1 to remove trademark protections, ruling that the nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans.”
The team’s name has been a subject of political discourse in Maryland for the better part of the year.
Earlier this year, Dels. C.T. Wilson, D-Charles, and Talmadge Branch, D-Baltimore, introduced a resolution calling the name “insensitive and offensive to Native Americans, and calling on team owner Daniel Snyder to change it.
Wilson, testifying in March, told a House committee the name should be changed because “the Redskins play in Maryland. It’s also the right thing to do.”
Only one person testified against the bill.
Bruce C. Bereano, a well-known Annapolis lobbyist, urge that same committee to reject the resolution and said the negativity around the name was “predominantly whipped up by the press media.”
Bereano testified as an individual “and a 45-year fan of the
What I think is lost in this discussion is how is the word Redskins used, not just currently or historically,” said Bereano, who said he testified as an individual “and a 45-year fan of the team.”
He told the committee that he had “seen any use of the term or the word in a derogatory, discriminating or disrespectful fashion.”
In April, Snyder told the Associated Press that Americans need to focus on real issues concerning Native Americans.
“We understand the issues out there, and we’re not an issue,” Snyder said. “The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it’s time that people focus on reality.”