REUTERS - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the federal trademarks for the National Football League's Washington Redskins, the agency said on Wednesday.
The trademarks were disparaging of Native Americans, the Patent Office said in a statement.
In May, the Anti-Defamation League signed a letter initiated by Native American groups to NFL players urging them to speak out for changing the name of the Washington Redskins. The team's owner Dan Snyder, who is Jewish, has repeatedly rejected calls critical of the team's name and mascot.
“Players are the most publicly identifiable representatives of the league, which means your support is critical to ending this injustice,” said the letter sent Tuesday to more than 2,700 professional football players.
The ADL, which in October declared its opposition to “hurtful and offensive names, mascots and logos” in sports, was the only Jewish group of 77 organizations that signed the letter. Most of the signatories are Native American groups. A number of African American and gay umbrella groups also signed.