ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – A federal judge rejected Native Americans’ request to dismiss them from the Washington Redskins’ trademark lawsuit over the team name.
The NFL team sued Amanda Blackhorse and four other Native Americans in August, after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the Redskins cannot keep their trademark, as so many people find it offensive.
The team said it had to sue Blackhorse et al., who sued first, to be able to appeal the board’s decision.
But U.S. District Judge Gerald Lee ruled on Nov. 25 that the team sued the right people.
Lee found that the five Native Americans “were the sole representatives on behalf of the petition for cancellation, were listed as the adverse parties, and were heavily involved in the proceedings,” giving depositions, and filing thousands of pages of evidence. They therefore have a “personal stake” in the proceeding, whether it’s an economic stake or not, the judge ruled.
Some radio stations are refusing to call the team by its name anymore, referring to it as “the team from Washington.”
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has said he will never change the team name.
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