The Washington football team is currently selling white-lace thongs bearing the team’s logo on its store website.
The team, which is in the process of appealing the decision by the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel its federal trademarks due to its name being “disparaging to Native Americans,” has often claimed that its mascot is meant to honor Native Americans. Team owner Dan Snyder said in an interview with ESPN last year that the name “really means honor, respect.”
Native Americans, however, fail to see how placing an image of a stereotypical Native American head on the crotch of a white-lace thong conveys honor and respect toward this country’s first peoples.
Amanda Blackhorse, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and the leading plaintiff in the case against the team, said “there’s nothing honorable” about the thong.
“It’s humiliating and demeaning,” she said. “It also shows that there’s a market for everything.”
In addition to the team store, the official online store of the NFL has an entire section of women’s underwear with the Washington team logo.
The items are sold as “burgundy/white cameo burnout panty,” “black reign plaid thong,” “charmed hearts thong,” and even a sports bra.
The team has gone to great lengths to try and convince the public that its name is respectful towards Native Americans. The “Original Americans Foundation” was founded by the team and purports to provide resources to tribes. The organization is allegedly made up of fans and supporters who strongly defends the name.
Blackhorse, however, is not convinced.
“The team stops at nothing to market their brand,” she said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit concluded that the government cannot deny disparaging trademarks.