“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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon