The Washington Redskins name received no formal public complaints in the months before the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Redskins trademark last month. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, in a 2-1 ruling, determined that “Redskins” was disparaging toward Native Americans.
According to a Washington Times report, “the agency doesn’t have any record of correspondence from the public about the Redskins’ name — expressing sentiments one way or another — prior to the board’s June 18 ruling.”
The Times received 13 pages of records from a Freedom of Information Act request “for any communications from Congress or the public.”
The Redskins are appealing the ruling and can enforce their trademark until the appeal is resolved. Numerous polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want the team to change its name, but Native American activists — and Democrats who want their votes — have insisted that the Redskins name is racist and derogatory.