Moses writes:

“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:

American Indian Sports Team Mascots

FAQs about the institutionalized use of “Indian” sports team tokens

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media

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)

Take Action!

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


Anne Kosmoski
(202) 775.0200
[email protected]

John M. Byrne
(215) 988.2597
[email protected]

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
Washington Redskins
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.


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