“In 1992, a group of prominent American Indian leaders filed a similar petition that is still pending 14 years later. Both petitions call for the cancellation of the federal government’s registration of the Washington ‘Redskins’ trademark, owned by defendant Pro-Football Inc., because its use is disparaging to American Indians. The petitions cite extensive evidence concerning the history of the use of the term ‘redskin’ and public perception of the objectionable term. Both sets of petitioners are represented pro bono by the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
‘The evidence is overwhelming that the use of this trademarked term is disparaging to a large number of Native Americans,’ said Philip Mause, partner at DBR and pro bono counsel for both the original and new petitioners.’ … ‘Sooner or later, the disparagement issue has to be faced and resolved,’ [Mause] said. ‘And hopefully it will make the [Washington] team realize that the term is disparaging.”
The position of League of Fans regarding American Indian nicknames and images as sports mascots is that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Such names and images, no matter their intent or popularity, are inappropriate and insensitive as they mock and trivialize Native American religion and culture, and block genuine understanding of contemporary Native people as fellow Americans. We believe that the elimination of American Indian nicknames and images as sports mascots benefits all of us. The elimination of stereotypes makes room for education about current American Indian issues, and the rich variety of indigenous peoples, cultures and traditions in our country.
People who take a principled stand against injustice have a right and a responsibility to fight racism, no matter who the target is. Please help to end racism in sports against Native people. For more information please visit:
FAQs about the institutionalized use of “Indian” sports team tokens
Statement of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols
North American Society for the Sociology of Sport – Native American Imagery Resolution (pdf)
American Psychological Association – Resolution Recommending the Immediate Retirement of American Indian Mascots … (pdf)
1) Show your support for the petition to cancel the ‘Redskins’ trademark by contacting the law firm representing the petitioners pro bono.
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP – Press Release (pdf): Native Americans Renew Demand for U.S. Patent Office To Cancel Derogatory “Redskins” Trademark
John M. Byrne
2) Write a letter to franchise owner Dan Snyder asking him to show American Indians the respect and dignity they deserve by dropping the “Redskins” nickname that has supported and maintained stereotypes.
Daniel M. Snyder
Owner and CEO
21300 Redskins Park Dr.
Ashburn, VA 20147
tel (703) 726-7000
fax (703) 726-7086
3) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper on the topic of American Indian team names and images and encourage dialog in your community on the issue.
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon