Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 6, 2015

Reid, Cantwell Cheer Cancellation of Redskins Trademark (Video)

Washington Redskins senators NFL Roger Goodell Commissioner

Cantwell praised the cancellation of trademarks for the Washington Redskins. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two of the Senate’s leading critics of Washington Redskins name and team owner Dan Snyder were quick to take the Senate floor to praise the Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to strip the team of its trademarks.

First came Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a former chairwoman of the Indian Affairs Committee, who has spearheaded efforts to get the name changed. On the floor, she criticized the Redskins monicker as a slur.

“We’re so excited to know that finally people are recognizing that this issue can no longer be a business case for the NFL to use this patent,” Cantwell said. “They will not be able to forcefully exclude other people from having derivatives of this logo or the name.

“This is not the end of this case, but this is a landmark decision by the Patent Office that says that the NFL team here in Washington, DC, does not have a patentable name, and that this is an offensive term, not patentable by the patent office,” Cantwell continued.

Majority Leader Harry Reid followed not long after, saying, “it’s just a matter of time before [Snyder’s] forced to change the name.”

“There are 27 tribes in the state of Nevada, Native Americans. The issue of the name Redskins is very important to every one of those tribes,” Reid said. “Every time they hear this name is a sad reminder of a long tradition of racism and bigotry.”

Reid said Snyder tried to effectively buy off one of the Nevada tribal groups with a car, an offer that was refused.

“Daniel Snyder says it’s about tradition. I ask, what tradition? The tradition of racism is all that that name leaves in its wake,” said Reid. “The writing is on the wall. It’s on the wall in giant blinking neon lights. The name will change.”

The reaction was not uniform, however. The Redskins name issue showed signs of taking on a partisan split, with Amanda Carpenter, a top aide to Texas Republican Ted Cruz, calling the move by the Patent and Trademark Office “bureaucratic tyranny.”

On Twitter, Carpenter also connected the move to the effort by Senate Democrats to amend the Constitution to remove First Amendment protections for political campaign spending.

Fifty senators, but no Republicans, earlier wrote to the NFL asking the league to force a name change.

Comments (90)

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  1. Layla

    June 18, 2014
    1:12 p.m.

    What a chilling message to American business. I would expect the Skins to move out of DC or change their name to the Washington Communists, which is so much more appropriate.

    You have a country with NO JOBS, and these are the things you celebrate.

    What a chilling, all powerful federal government we have in power at the moment. Impeach this administration and vote the Democrats out of office, or risk having them come after each and everyone of you, America.

    • Melanie Whaley

      June 18, 2014
      3:09 p.m.

      Layla (beautiful name, the origin or your name is Arabic or African) get a grip. It is an offensive term for Native Americans. Are Native Americans not in your circle of Americans that deserve your concern? By the way, not that facts matter to you but there are actually more people employed today then when our President took office. So now does that mean that it was a Republican President that screwed us Americans and we should vote all Republicans out of office to save our country? If it is a one party system you are looking for you might want to consider what that would actually mean. Talk about chilling.

      “CES employment in May 2014 is at a new high of 138,463,000.

      CPS employment reached a maximum of 146,595,000 in November 2007. 781,000 have been lost since then according to the household survey. From a December 2009 low of 138,013,000, the US has added 7,801,000 jobs according to the CPS survey”.

      • Deserttrek

        June 18, 2014
        5:29 p.m.

        it is not an offensive term for native Americans, that is a bunch of politically correct garbage. and if it is I say SO F’N WHAT!
        I see and hear things I find evil and offensive all the time. every time any demoncrat politician speaks I and almost 50% of Americans are offended. your comment is offensive so maybe either everybody grow a set or shut up. every time barryboy or mochelle open their pie holes i am disgusted and offended.

  2. ShadrachSmith

    June 18, 2014
    1:53 p.m.

    It is a clear taking of property (trademark value) without due process of law. Insofar as that still matters, this is a bad thing.

    • Quasimodo4

      June 18, 2014
      2:49 p.m.

      The boy is using the bureaucracy to circumvent the Fifth amendment. The lad is a little dictator. The IRS is a weapon yielded by the youngster.

  3. Mickey Kovars

    June 18, 2014
    3:06 p.m.

    Says Reagan from the beyond, “Mr. Obama, stop tearing down this country!”

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    Here we have respected democrat, Jeff Jarvis, calling out Hussein Obama’s despotic designs:

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    Your right harry,, the writing is on the wall,, you are a sellout, and against all America stands for, you are anti american,

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