Whatever side you are on with the Washington Redskins name controversy, one thing is pretty clear. This is a PR disaster for Dan Snyder and it’s mounting its way towards being a PR disaster for the NFL as well. Now that the trademark registration has been cancelled, does that mean that the rest of the owners in the NFL will pressure Dan Snyder to finally give in?
First off, the trademark registration cancellation that was decided last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office isn’t as bad as it sounds.
The team immediately appealed the decision so while the appeal is going on, nothing changes whatsoever. If the appeal is denied all it means is that the team will have to spend a lot of money in legal costs to fight regular guy trying to sell counterfeit Washington Redskins gear. The team is still allowed to use the name and still has the logo trademarked in place.
Dan Snyder has been about as stubborn as anyone has ever been about anything about not changing the team’s name. In spite of any evidence presented to him or the rest of the country claiming that the name is derogatory and is a racial slur, he refuses to budge and has stuck his heels in place pretty damned hard.
His attempts to bolster his position have just gone about as horrible as anything can go. His foundation, “The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation” aimed at helping end poverty among the country’s Native Americans, has a CEO who is accused of robbing Native Americans out of $1 million in federal funds. Not a wise choice of CEO by Snyder there.
Then, his Twitter campaign to bolster the “pride” of the organization backfired hilariously.
— Pat Lenzi (@patlenzi) June 16, 2014
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 2, 2014
you have systematically destroyed everything i enjoyed about my dc childhood sports memories. please die with dignity #redskinspride
— Joe Bernstein (@jbasher) May 29, 2014
#RedskinsPride because keeping the tshirt in my closet accurate is much more important than whole races of people
— bd (@IHatebd) May 29, 2014
— postkneejerk (@postkneejerk) June 24, 2014
With the public relations nightmare going on with no end in sight and now a threat to merchandising revenue, we’re not far off from the rest of the NFL owners stepping in. The only thing that’s going to cause any kind of action is a loss of money.
Right now, the owners could give a crap how bad Snyder looks in the press or how many people are angry about the name just as long as their wallets don’t take a hit. But, if the cancellation of the trademark registrations stands and the team starts losing merchandising money, it’s only a matter of time before that trickles down to the rest of the league and the rest of the owners come knocking on Snyder’s door.
It’s silly at this point for Snyder to hold onto refusing to change the name. I get that there are those who fear the “PC Police” “ruining our country” with wanting anything and everything that could be deemed as offensive by even the smallest group of people changed or modified to accommodate them and don’t want this to lead to more “freedom infringements”. That’s quite a far leap if you ask me.
Snyder’s position for not changing the name has boiled down to the fact that he just simply refuses to acknowledge that the name might be offensive to some people. He’s just plain ignoring it.
Writing it off that it’s all some kind of political BS that he doesn’t have to fall for and if he just holds his position long enough, everything will be just fine. That is, until the rest of the NFL owners start losing money because of Snyder’s stubbornness.
If there is anything that will drive the rest of the owners to step in it’s money. Right now, it’s costing them very little to just sit silently while Snyder makes a public relations mockery of his team. Once it starts to dip in their pockets, even just a little bit, they’ll jump into action.
The NFL owners are ruled by money more than anything else. If you doubt that they’ll yank a team from a city here and put it in London you’re going to be downright shocked when they step in and force Synder to change his team’s name.