Redskins Trademark Canceled; What About the Blackhawks?

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins trademark Wednesdy, a big move that could lead to a name change for the constantly debated mascot. 

According to the ruling, the trademarks were canceled because they were "disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered," a violation of the Trademark Act. Read the entire ruling here

Native American groups have lobbied for a name change, calling "redskins" a racial slur, but team owner Dan Snyder hasn't budged. The Chicago Tribune reports that the team will appeal the ruling

Now, every time the Redskins team name is debated people will point to other teams that use a Native American mascot name or imagery, including the Chicago Blackhawks.

Why isn't the Blackhawks name and mascot held to the same standards? First, most would agree there's a clear difference between using a name that refers to one person or one tribe and using a team name referring to the color of a group's skin. Others say hockey doesn't command the attention the NFL does, so it'll never be as much of a controversy. 

Still, it's a question that comes up: If we're going to say the Redskins name is disparaging, what about other names and mascots that use Native American imagery? Tim Baffoe of CBS Chicago wrote about it last summer when the Blackhawks were in the Stanley Cup Final. 

He points out a couple of other things working in the Blackhawks favor:

For starters, outside of the logo, there is little to no imagery used, like other teams do with head dresses and tomahawk chants. Also, the Blackhawks are named after the Army division in which original team owner Frederick McLaughlin was a part of in World War I. That division, however, was named after an individual chief in the Midwest. 

With the news that the Redskins name could be in real trouble, you'll probably see comments that ask why all Native American-related team names aren't being treated the same way, either as a reason to ban them all or keep the Redskins name. But there are clear differences, and that should keep the Chicago Blackhawks away from similar controversy. 

TELL US: Should the Washington Redskins change their team name and mascot? Should similar logic be applied to the Blackhawks? 
Deerfield Resident June 19, 2014 at 06:17 PM
What a crappy little issue bolstered by obama and his social workers who feel sympathy for every GD little thing. Do you know how small this group of indians is that oppose the redskin name? Like a hand-full of people!!!! How small does a group have to be for the liberals to say it's not worth their time? Can we focus on important issues please!!!!!
Matt B. June 19, 2014 at 11:04 PM
Redskins are on the left hand. Anyone know what the right hand is doing or about to do? Whatever happened to the VA issues. IRS emails missing. Anyone know what the unemployment/under-employment rate is? The price of oil, beef? Who knows what ISIS stands for? I know this is huge government over reach getting involved in a private business. My whole point to this is the name change most likely wont happen for years. For now the Redskins trademark is still owned by Daniel Snyder. Appeals have to happen, and the government is not the fastest moving turtle in this race. A lot more important day to day items going on rather than this.
Kent Frederick June 19, 2014 at 11:30 PM
If we're going to get rid of Native American mascots (unless a nickname has the blessing of a tribe, such as the Seminole Nation approving of the use of the name and logo by Florida State University), then what about nicknames that are disparaging. What comes to mind is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Besides the ND logo, there is the logo of a leprechaun in a classic boxing stance. Does the average person still think that a person of Irish heritage settles disputes with a fistfight? I like to think that stereotype has fallen by the wayside. Yet, Notre Dame still keeps that offensive stereotype alive.
sklogw June 20, 2014 at 10:19 AM
The name Redskins should have been done away with long ago. Imagine if there were such a thing as Whiteskins, Blackskins, Beigeskins, Brownskins or Yellowskins how long would that have lasted? This land was stolen from Native Americans, that's bad enough, add a racist term and make the teams colors the color of red skin and it's horrible. Native American images have been long used as mascots and turned into cartoon characters. There is no respect behind it. It is a slap in the face to Native Americans and a reminder of the lives and land that was raped and pillaged. Then to top it off, people will wear their likeness and call it paying homage. Pretty twisted.
Matt B. June 20, 2014 at 11:18 PM
Does anyone here personally know a Native American that is offended by this, or is everyone sucking from the teat of the liberal media that tells you this is wrong and offensive? Do you still feel "white guilt" from something that happened hundreds of years ago that YOU had nothing to do with? Elizabeth Warren says this is wrong so it must be (if you don't know the story behind why I brought up her name or who she is please don't respond to this). Twisted to wear a likeness of a group of others, what is next, get rid of Halloween? But this is the Lakeview Patch where people don't offend and everyone lives on Happy lane and farts rainbows, right? Pick any heritage and they have at one time been offended. This is every weekend that this horrible team name is shown on TV so its wrong? Do the REDSKINS offend you in any way shape or form in day to day life? If so, you my want to think about what is wrong with your way of thinking.


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