Six Native American activists have challenged the Washington Redskins' trademarks for the team's name and logo, according to a report in Saturday's editions of The Washington Post. The legal challenge says the team's nickname is a racial slur and should be changed.
The Redskins won an earlier legal challenge when a U.S. District Court judge determined that a previous group of plaintiffs waited too long under trademark law to challenge the name.
In the new challenge, the Native American group says the Redskins nickname breaks a federal law passed in 1946 that bars the registration of trademarks that disparages races, religions and other groups.
According to the complaint, "the term 'redskin' was and is a pejorative, derogatory, denigrating, offensive, scandalous, contemptuous, disreputable, disparaging and racist designation for a Native American person."
The Post quoted one of the six activists, Jillian Pappan, 19, of Sioux City, Iowa, as saying he found the term Redskin to be equal with the "N-word."
"You're not going to call me a redskin, and they shouldn't be allowed to have that as a copyright," she told the Post.
Robert L. Raskopf, the lawyer representing the team in the case, told the Post, "We're confident that we will prevail on the merits."
"The highest court that considered it on the merits, the claim that the name disparages Native Americans, found no evidence of that. I don't think it's going to matter who brings the claim. The bottom line is there is no evidence to support that claim."