In an expected move, the Washington Redskins appealed the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decision to rescind trademark protection for the team name. The name Redskins is considered a racial slur by many–and has been at the center of an ongoing controversy. In June the USPTO canceled numerous uses of “Redskins” deeming the name “disparaging of Native Americans.”
The Redskins claim that the USPTO decision impinges on free speech and presents other constitutional issues. The controversy has been so heated that in July a newly hired PR executive for the Redskins quit almost immediately after taking a job with the team. The exec claimed the “attacks” on him had swiftly become “too personal.” Team owner Daniel Snyder has reached out to the Native American community with philanthropy, including setting up the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. But Snyder has been adamant about not acquiescing on a name change. The Redskins franchise is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 billion.