Retire the Redskins

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is under no obligation to change his team’s outdated name, even though the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that it’s disparaging of Native Americans and should be stripped of trademark protection.

If Snyder is smart, he’ll use this as the opportunity to do what he should have done a long time ago — rename the team. Instead, it appears he’s digging in his heels. As it stands now, Wednesday’s decision allows anyone to use the team name and logo on merchandise, which could cost Synder millions in revenue if his planned appeal is unsuccessful.

So, he has a financial impetus to consider a name change. Indeed, he stands to make millions in merchandising by choosing a new name and logo. In business terms, it’s a no-brainer. He has a built-in excuse to do the right thing and profit from it. Sounds crass, but the outcomes are better than taking the indefensible position that the team’s history somehow justifies the use of an offensive name. If you’re going to take a principled stand, make sure the principle is worth fighting for.

This one isn’t.


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