Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins on the grounds that the name was “disparaging” to Native Americans. The football team’s owner, Daniel Synder, has vowed to appeal the decision. No doubt he will continue to maintain that the name is a “badge of honor” for Native peoples.
Snyder may genuinely believe that making millions from the sale of cheap merchandise adorned with pictures of Indians is a celebration of Native American pride. History suggests otherwise, however.