In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Patent Office has cancelled the Redskin’s Trademarks stating that the nickname is, “disparaging of Native Americans”. Over the past few years there has been growing sentiment in the country, calling for the Washington Redskins to change the team name. However, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has thus far refused to consider it, citing “tradition”. Snyder will appeal the ruling allowing the team to hold onto its trademark protection until the appeal process is completed. If the team ultimately loses its appeal, it would mean that anyone could use the Redskins nickname without having to worry about litigation, theoretically.
But this story is so much more important than a silly team logo which in the realm of things, isn’t very important at all. What’s at stake here is our liberty. Free speech has never meant only speech that a particular person or group approves. Either it applies to all of us equally or it applies to none of us. While the Redskins logo can be deemed offensive, that should not be enough of a reason to either cancel the trademarks or force the team to change its name. What a dangerous precedent to set. Do we start fining or arresting people who call someone fat because it’s offensive to people who are overweight? The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on free speech and there are limitations set when it can cause injury or death. Libel and slander are also not protected forms free speech if damages can be proven in a court of law. Most people understand that if you threaten the life of the President, you will probably be picked up for questioning. But that is not the case here. This is a simple case of language or phraseology deemed offensive.
Free speech must be absolute. There can be no exception except for that which violates civil or criminal laws. Liberals don’t get to decide what is acceptable because they’re “Liberals”. The limitation of free speech in the name of the public good or decency is as dangerous as the limit of free speech by a dictator. There is No Difference. Redskin may not be nice but it is protected by the Constitution of the United States. Is there anyone who really wants that to change?
The First Amendment’s speech protections do not, and should not apply to trademarks. They are commercial product. Trade is regulated. That isn’t a change.