Patent Office Deems Redskins Offensive

by Ben Goldfarb on June 18, 2014

in Sports

OK, folks, we’re seriously getting into some ridiculous territory here with this imperial presidency, already. Obama has shown that he doesn’t mind using executive branch edicts to impose his will on the rest of us, so why should this be any different. Let’s sanitize the language, removing all traces of objectionable, biased, colorful (pardon the expression) or offensive (in WHOSE opinion) speech. The Washington Redskins’ name has been deemed by the U.S. Patent Office to be objectionable and disparaging, and that office has revoked the organization’s trademark for the name.

Cleveland Indians - Proposed Logo

Cleveland Indians – Proposed Logo

What’s next?

Come on, use your imagination.

The New Jersey Giants and the San Francisco Giants better watch their humongous asses. Their name is disparaging to sufferers of acromegaly, a condition that is not fun at all. This is a serious thing. Do not use the term giant. You may call your team the San Francisco Vertical Hypertrophers.

Lookee here, San Diego Padres! Sexists! What about the Madres? And what about non-Spanish speakers? You better be careful with that monocultural crap there in San Diego. Keep it gender neutral but bilingual (of course). The San Diego Parents/Parientes is the preferred moniker.

And damnit, the Canadians do NOT get a pass for the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s racist! It discriminates against scrub jays and other kinds of jays. Blue Jays didn’t ask to be blue, either. Using a pigmentation reference in the name is asking for trouble — like Redskin! No, no, no! In some circles, a J-bird may be taken to mean a Jewish bird. No, no, no! Forget birds — too dangerous. Go with prominent features of the city. I can think of any, so they’re the Toronto Why Nots (which rhymes with their football team, the Argonauts — who along with Jason never did find that golden fleece).

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Naming teams after maritime marauders, plunderers, thieves, rapists, and killers seems to be just a bit offensive, doesn’t it? I’m all for naming them the Pittsburgh Peonies and the Tampa Bay Begonias. Flowers are not offensive to anyone!

The Chicago Bears? Hell, a bear in gay parlance is a big, hairy gay guy with a beard. But what about the slight, wispy, effeminate gay guys? Aren’t we slighting them by lionizing the bears? (Lionizing, get it?) No, we need to be all-inclusive, so call them the Chicago Male Escorts, which is gender orientation neutral.

It’s pretty bad when a professional sports team has to carry around a name derived from a sexual position. The Dallas Cowboys have that problem. It would be much less offensive to some religions if we called the Dallas Celibates.

St. Louis and Arizona both have Cardinals. We’ve established that red pigment references are offensive. So would be a reference to a highly ranked official in the Roman Catholic Church. That’s why we need to change the Cardinals to the Kumquats. That way, we’re boosting the ego of the lowliest of all citrus fruits.

The Los Angeles Kings? Man, that’s playing with fire. King is a masculine noun. That’s too preclusive. At least their farm team, the Manchester Monarchs, had sense enough to make their regal name gender neutral. But now, we need to go the other direction to appease the feminists and compensate for their backlash. Revoke the trademark and allow them to rename the team the Los Angeles Queens. This will yield the collateral benefit of allowing the gay lobby to call the team their own.

I believe it will be OK for the Cleveland Indians to keep their name just as long as they trade in that smiling red-skinned logo for a Sikh with a turban. Chief Wahoo will become Chief Sabu. I think we can allow that under the cultural diversity clause, whereas maintaining the “Indian” reference to Native Americans would be as disparaging as Columbus actually didn’t intend it to be over 500 years ago.

You know how I get in the summer. Nothing much to write about. The other blogs publish something every time Franklin farts, but I post only facetious, self-amusing crap. Well, the part about the imperial presidency isn’t amusing, but I digress. Hurry, football season!

Joe June 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm

And don’t forget Harry Reid said he will not go to another ‘skins game until they change their name (or perhaps he gets free tickets!).

Thoughts on Joyner bidding adieu?

The Nittany Turkey June 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm

It was the right time, and the handwriting was on the wall from the moment Barron accepted the position of president. My thoughts are that he did an OK caretaker job under some extraordinarily bad circumstances in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. We need to move on, and Joyner’s forthcoming departure is a fitting coda for the dark sonata we’d all like to erase from our memory. Thus, I believe that any evaluation of his performance will be overshadowed by emotional issues.

Many will be happy to see him step down. They and the rest of us would like to see PSU take a step forward by hiring a proven AD. I hope the search committee gets some decent candidates, now that the scandal and the sanctions, as well as Erickson and Joyner, are history.

Time to move on and move up!

—TNT

BigAl June 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm

It’s good to see you’re still blogging. I was beginning to think maybe Maus had done “whatever it takes” to shut you up.

I hate political correctness as much as anybody, but “Redskins” is more than just a name describing a group of people – it’s an ethnic slur. It’s pretty much the same as choosing Spics, Wops, Hebes, or Coons to be your team name.

Some people (i.e Fox News) try to justify use of the name because an early coach/player was an Indian, but wouldn’t you be offended if somebody had named the New York baseball team the “Hebes” to “honor” Lou Gehrig??

The Nittany Turkey June 19, 2014 at 12:03 am

I’d be flattered to have had Lou Gehrig as a member of the tribe, but alas, he wasn’t Jewish. Call me anything but don’t call me late for dinner.

—TNT

BigAl June 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Just checked your favorite web site (Jew or Not Jew) and learned that Lou was just another German goy who “looks” Jewish (like me). Should have known better.

Hank Greenburg and the Detroit Tigers would have been a better analogy. But NOBODY would ever associate Detroit with Judaism.

The Nittany Turkey June 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Yeah, in that movie about Lou, his mom acted pretty Jewish and had an appropriate accent, but I looked her up. Her name was Elsa Janssen from Düsseldorf. His dad was played by the Austrian Ludwig Stössel. Gary Cooper, born in Montana, played Gehrig.

Hank Greenberg also played for the Pirates for a year. They made a little shortened left field fence for him at spacious Forbes Field, where the distance down the foul line was 360′. The new fence lopped off thirty feet, so for the pull-hitting slugger Hank, the distance was 330′. I know that Greenberg suffered a lot of prejudicial crap, but not so much in da Burgh. The last-place Pirates and their beleaguered fans were grateful for his production and for his mentoring of their rising star, Ralph Kiner.

I had a Jewish client in Detroit back in the good old days, but as you suggested, Detroit is more noted for imams than for rabbis. Now, it’s more noted for 140,000 vacant and crumbling buildings. Pittsburgh, though, has a pretty damn robust Jewish community. I ought to know, having grown up there.

But I digress.

I’ll grant you that the Redskins’ name evokes memories of cowboy movies in which indigenous people were disparaged. I’m just concerned that governmental edicts have entered overreach territory.

—TNT

jd June 20, 2014 at 10:06 am

As a current employee of the USPTO (patent side), all i can say is I am sorry.

Also, one should check out the TESS (trademark electronic search system). Search for issued trademarks with anything offensive you can come up with.

Back to work i guess. BTW, I will be rejecting all Volkswagen and Mitsubishi patent applications. I find their company names offensive for their roles of killing americans and our allies in WW2. As of this moment, I am also declaring all of their IP invalid until they change their offensive ways.

The Nittany Turkey June 20, 2014 at 11:53 am

Oh, so you’re the guy! I kind of wondered what had changed to cause the 1990s decision to be revisited. The answer must be that you were hired.

But seriously, though, Drozz, thanks for the irony. Very well done. If I didn’t know you better, I might have believed it.

One thing has certainly changed since the 1990s — the administration in the WH. Even Slick Willy wouldn’t stoop to some of the depths of Barry’s Boys.

Lots of people are missing the point here. My big objection is not about changing nicknames that might offend people, but rather the manner in which this shenanigan and others were pulled. It is not the job of the Federal government to police our speech. Instead, they should be protecting our right to free speech.

If those who were offended wish to file a defamation suit against Snyder and the Crimsondermi, that right exists under the law. Individuals have rights. Government is charged with upholding those rights. Instead, our White House seems to enjoy circumventing checks and balances to abuse executive power, targeting those it dislikes through heavy handed regulation, obfuscation, and preemption.

And that is my objection to this whole morass.

I don’t have to think about any of this crap when I’m paddling the mighty Wekiva.

—TNT

jd June 23, 2014 at 10:38 am

“My big objection is not about changing nicknames that might offend people, but rather the manner in which this shenanigan and others were pulled. It is not the job of the Federal government to police our speech. Instead, they should be protecting our right to free speech.”

Which is the correct interpretation.

This decision sets a chilling precedent. For example, someone complains about the use of the term “Wekiva” as offensive to the tribes of central FL, etc.

I don’t like Snyder and I don’t know if the name is offensive, but I hope Snyder wins.

The Nittany Turkey June 30, 2014 at 5:53 pm

For the sake of all of us, I hope you’re right. I don’t like Snyder at all, either.

There’s a dog obedience school named “Sit Means Sit!” If dog sympathizers get going on that, the trademark goes away. Elected officials wanting to curry favor and their spoils system regulatory implementors will take care of it.

—TNT

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