A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Washington football team has the right to sue five Native Americans over the cancellation of the team’s trademarks.
In June, Navajo activist Amanda Blackhorse and four other Native American plaintiffs won a case against the team when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six of its seven trademarks after concluding the R-word is “disparaging to Native Americans.”
Last summer, team owner Dan Snyder filed a suit against the five Native Americans in the hope of seeing that decision overturned. Blackhorse et al. later filed to dismiss Snyder’s case against them.
Judge Gerald B. Lee of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, denied the motion to dismiss the case.
Blackhorse told ICTMN that Snyder’s suit is unequivocal bullying.
“Mr. Synder’s SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation) is a slap in the face to all Native American people who have been vigorously fighting the racial slur r-skins,” she wrote in a text. “The institutional racism pronounced here is great, and how the NFL would allow such things to happen is beyond me. Filing suit against five Native Americans who aren't nearly as wealthy as he is shows that money talks and can be used to bully and intimidate normal everyday Native Americans for racist profits. Mr. Synder’s idea of honor is twisted, because there is no honor in suing those he attempts to care for.”
Meanwhile, Rolling Stone recently named Snyder the number one worst owner in sports. Jeb Lund wrote of Snyder’s unscrupulous personality and his penchant to sue those who criticize him.
“Dave McKenna of the Washington City Paper wrote a devastatingly hysterical A-to-Z guide to every contemptuous, miserly, greed-headed, soul-dead move Snyder has pulled in D.C., every bit of it true," Lund wrote. "Snyder sued McKenna and the paper anyway, because he wanted to see if the size of his war chest would back them down. Because he could. Because he's Daniel Snyder, and because fuck you. Fuck your access to a true narrative, fuck your local pride, fuck your fandom, fuck your pocketbook, fuck your fun and fuck a genocide.”