Pelosi Statement on Cancellation of the Washington Football Team’s Trademark Registrations

Jun 18, 2014
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced it has canceled the Washington football team’s trademark registrations, describing the name as “disparaging to Native Americans.”

“As someone who grew up in Baltimore, the Washington football team has always held a special place in my heart.  The team name is another matter.  For so many Native Americans, this name has long stood as a deep offense – an affront to the dignity of their heritage, and an insult to the proud identity they hope to pass on to their children and their grandchildren.

“Today’s actions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are in line with longstanding rules on the treatment of disparaging or offensive names.  While we respect the right to free speech, slurs have no right to trademark protections. 

“The team that represents our nation’s capital should be a source of pride to all Americans.  It’s long past time for the Washington football team to choose a new name.”


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