The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration because it considers the team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans,” reports the Washington Post.
The case, which was on behalf of five Native Americans, appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath, told the Post.
Added Alfred Putnam Jr., the chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath: “We are extraordinarily gratified to have prevailed in this case. The dedication and professionalism of our attorneys and the determination of our clients have resulted in a milestone victory that will serve as an historic precedent.”
The victory won’t have any immediate impacts on the Redskins organization, or owner Daniel Snyder’s decision to keep the team’s name. The Redskins will appeal the ruling, but should the ruling be upheld, it would mean that the Redskins would lose its federally trademarked protections.
As explained by USAToday.com last month, “The effect would be large because federally registered trademarks keep others from selling items with the team’s logos, although even then the team could try to keep unauthorized merchandisers from using the marks through common law and state statues.”
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ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith refused to backdown on Friday after he came under fire for defending Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s comments about bigotry in a recent interview. Despite being labeled an “Uncle Tom” and a “sellout” by some in the black community, Smith made it clear that he stands by what he said “100-fold.”
“‘Stephen A. Smith is a sellout,’ ‘Stephen A. Smith is an Uncle Tom,’ ‘Stephen A. Smith ain’t black,’ ‘you ain’t one of us’ — these are the kinds of things that were said to me yesterday,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” Friday.
Regardless, he said he doesn’t care who disagrees with him and they would be smart not to expect an apology.
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Miami Dolphins defensive back Don Jones has been fined an undisclosed amount by the team following an incident on Saturday where he sent out a tweet critical of Michael Sam. Jones has also been banned from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training.
After St. Louis selected the openly gay Sam with the 249th overall pick in the seventh and final round of the NFL Draft, Sam was caught on camera kissing his boyfriend in celebration. Just after the kiss happened, Jones tweeted ‘OMG’ and ‘Horrible.’
On Sunday night, Jones apologized for sending out the two tweets.
“I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media,” Jones said in a statement. “I take full responsibility for them and I regret that these tweets took away from his draft moment. I remember last year when I was drafted in the seventh round and all of the emotions and happiness I felt when I received the call that gave me an opportunity to play for an NFL team and I wish him all the best in his NFL career.”
Jones didn’t just apologize to Sam either. He also apologized to the Dolphins: “I sincerely apologize to Mr. Ross, my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets,” Jones said. “I am committed to represent the values of the Miami Dolphins organization and appreciate the opportunity I have been given to do so going forward.”
Read more here.
DeMarcus Walker @livinglegend_44
Y’all praise Michael Sam for being gay but y’all mocked Tim Tebow for being a Christian. Smh #Society
During the NFL Draft, plenty of young men kissed and shared PDAs with their significant others or wives.
There was no talk, no debate of heterosexuals sharing love and emotions with their significant others. However, seeing Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend Vito — a proud black gay man kissing his Caucasian boyfriend — makes some people uncomfortable.
Michael Sam is a person who has been through the trials and tribulations of coming out, first to his college teammates and then the world. The former Missouri star being selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round Saturday was a moment they shared, something that has never happened and right then and there they deserve to share that special moment together. America witnessed it.
What America — and everywhere else — doesn’t need is reactions like that of Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson (though Henderson claims his words were only an “experiment”). Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, failure to understand how monumental the draft choice and subsequent kiss is becomes foolhardy on many levels.
Millions of people have had to hide over the years — whether moments of great triumph or failure. In life, there’s nothing better than having your significant other there for you during a critical event.
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The St. Louis Rams made history on Saturday, taking former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam in the seventh round of the NFL draft, making Sam the first openly gay player to ever be selected.
And over the last couple days, the footage of Sam learning of his selection and celebrating with his family and boyfriend has gone viral, with the clip of a teary-eyed Sam and his boyfriend sharing a hug and a kiss becoming a regular in ESPN’s SportsCenter rotation.
For most, the scene has resonated as a powerful symbol of a changing landscape in the macho world of professional athletics, but for some less progressive minds in the sports world, the smooch has been portrayed as distasteful, and those offended by the show of affection haven’t been shy about taking their thoughts to Twitter.
It started on Sunday with Miami Dolphins cornerback Don Jones, who was fined an undisclosed amount and excused from team activities after sending a tweet that described the video of Sam and his boyfriend as “horrible.”
The post would have been a poor choice for any NFL player to send out, but was particularly noteworthy coming from a Dolphins player, considering the turmoil the team went through this past season amid the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito bullying scandal.
Unfortunately, the negative reaction didn’t stop there, and on Monday, former Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson — no stranger to controversy, himself — posted a series of tweets to the 67,000 followers of his Twitter account in response to Sam’s celebration:
See and read more here.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for making racist remarks to his girlfriend on tape.
He also fined him $2.5 million
Silver confirmed that the man caught on tape making racist remarks to girlfriends is Sterling.
There was talk that Silver could employ the “nuclear option” — effectively forcing Sterling to sell the team by calling on the Board of Governors to terminate his ownership. TMZ says the league won’t use that option.
The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.
Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”
“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”
Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.
Read more here.
Call it what you want — anti-gay or religious rights — but if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs a controversial bill, you might not be calling Arizona the home of the 2015 Super Bowl.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S.B. 1062, is the current controversy du jour out of Arizona, and the National Football League is with the opposition.
“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”
The Arizona Super Bowl Host committee released a statement saying it disagreed with the bill and its impact on Arizona’s economy.
“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential,” a committee spokesperson said. “We do not support this legislation.”
Arizona is currently slated to host the 2015 Super Bowl at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.
Opponents of the bill contend that it will allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexual customers.
But, as with most bills in Congress, the attack ads have little to do with the actual legislation.
Read more here.