“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 #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
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