Back in May, I wrote a piece entitled “Re-Branding Madness in Washington” Overlooks Obvious: The Washington Redskins,” discussing the trademark cancellation action that I filed on behalf of seven prominent Native American leaders back in September 1992 (Harjo et al v. Pro-Football, Inc.), and calling for the football team to “hire a branding guru to engage in some serious and successful re-branding.”
Well, the 2009 football season is now upon us, and it appears my re-branding call has fallen on deaf ears, at least for now.
Yesterday the Washington Post “reported” the case may be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
What I found most interesting about the brief 197 word story in the Washington Post is that the “reporter” used the word “activist” three times and “group” twice, to describe the distinguished Native American leaders I know, without referring to them as individuals or even as being Native American (without the “activist” pejorative), leading me to wonder what yard-line his seats might be located at in FedEx Field.
For what it’s worth, at least the Associated Press, ABC News, NBC Sports, ESPN, Yahoo News, WTOP.com, WUSA9.com, New York Times, New York Post, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Times, and CBS News, have all managed to report the story without employing the highly-charged and politically-loaded term “activist,” instead neutrally referring to the petitioners as “Native Americans” and “American Indians,” who are offended by the team name.