The Washington Redskins name controversy involves the name and logo of the National Football League (NFL) franchise located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Native American individuals, tribes and organizations have been questioning the use of the name and image for decades. Over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts have published resolutions or policies that state that the use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promotes misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other problems faced by Native Americans. The Washington, D.C. team is only one example of the larger controversy, but it receives the most public attention due to the

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  • The Washington Redskins name controversy involves the name and logo of the National Football League (NFL) franchise located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Native American individuals, tribes and organizations have been questioning the use of the name and image for decades. Over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts have published resolutions or policies that state that the use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promotes misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other problems faced by Native Americans. The Washington, D.C. team is only one example of the larger controversy, but it receives the most public attention due to the name itself being defined as derogatory or insulting in modern dictionaries, and the prominence of the team representing the nation's capital. Native Americans officially demanding change include hundreds of tribal nations, national tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, and individuals. The largest of these organizations, the National Congress of American Indians, count the total enrollment of its membership as 1.2 million individuals. There is also a growing number of public officials, sports commentators and other journalists advocating a change. In addition to picketing and other forms of direct protest, opponents took legal action to cancel the trademarks held by the team. On June 18, 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) again voted to cancel the Redskins federal trademark registrations, considering them "disparaging to Native Americans". On July 8, 2015 the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia upheld the TTAB decision. Support for continued use of the name has come from the team's owners and a majority of fans, which include some Native Americans. Supporters say that the name honors the achievements and virtues of Native Americans, and that it is not intended in a negative manner. Some, such as team president Bruce Allen, also point to the use of Redskins by three high school teams, two on reservations, that have a majority of Native American students. Supporters have asserted that a majority of Native Americans are not offended by the name based upon a national poll done by Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2004, In a commentary published soon after that poll, fifteen Native American scholars collaborated on a critique that stated that there were so many flaws in the Annenberg study that rather than being a measure of Native American opinion, it was an expression of white privilege and colonialism. In May, 2016 the Washington Post published a poll which duplicated the central question posed in 2004, yielding an identical result. Critics immediately questioned the methodology, which addressed some but not all of the flaws they found in the Annenberg poll; but also questioned reducing a complex civil rights issue to a matter of individual feelings. National public opinion polls consistently find that a majority of the general public support the team's continued use of the name, ranging from 60 to 83 percent in recent years. However, three separate DC metropolitan area polls have found that a small majority of fans think the term "redskin" is offensive to Native Americans in some contexts. (en)
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  • The Washington Redskins name controversy involves the name and logo of the National Football League (NFL) franchise located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Native American individuals, tribes and organizations have been questioning the use of the name and image for decades. Over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts have published resolutions or policies that state that the use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promotes misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other problems faced by Native Americans. The Washington, D.C. team is only one example of the larger controversy, but it receives the most public attention due to the (en)
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  • Washington Redskins name controversy (en)
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