Opponents of the Cleveland Indians logo are keeping a close eye on Redskins case
CLEVELAND -- Opponents of the Cleveland Indians logo are keeping a close eye on Washington.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office decision to cancel the Washington Redskins trademark registration because the team name is "disparaging to Native Americans" is rekindling the Chief Wahoo debate.
Native American and longtime anti-Wahoo protester Robert Roche said he was "overjoyed " by the ruling and hoped it would accelerate a team decision to dump the Chief.
Councilman Zach Reed, an outspoken Wahoo critic, called on the team to announce a firm commitment to retire the Chief by a specific deadline.
The decision has an economic impact. Money from Redskins' trademarked souvenir is shared in a pool by all NFL teams.
The Redskins can continue to use the name without trademarked protection, but if the decision holds up, vendors using it would not have to reimburse the team.
The Indians are declining to make any comment on the ruling.
The team has refused to retire the chief. But it's offered souvenirs with the block letter "C" and scripted Indians name as alternatives for those fans who don't like the chief.
Polls show a majority of Tribe fans are in favor of keeping the Chief.
Roche said a major lawsuit will soon be filed against the Indians over the use of Wahoo seeking damages and reparations.
The Redskins have a right to appeal the decision.