Administration

Justice Department drops fight over ‘Redskins’ name

The Justice Department on Thursday dropped the legal challenge to the the Washington Redskins’ name, The Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, the Trump administration dropped the challenge in a letter to the Supreme Court in response to last week’s ruling in Matal v. Tam, in which an Asian-American rock band won the right to copyright the name “The Slants” despite the name’s offensive connotation.

In the Thursday letter, the Justice Department argues that the Matal v. Tam decision means that the court would decide in favor of the Washington Redskins if the case went before the justices.

Last week, Redskins owner Dan Snyder drew the same conclusion and said he was “thrilled” by the court’s decision in the copyright case. His lawyer, Lisa Blatt, issued a statement saying that the court’s decision resolved the dispute over the NFL team’s name.

{mosads}Snyder and his wife have a close relationship with President Trump and his administration. In January, Snyder attended an exclusive inauguration celebration with Trump’s Cabinet members, and Snyder’s wife donated to Trump’s campaign in 2015.

Weeks after Snyder’s wife made the donation, Trump spoke out about the team name controversy, suggesting it should remain the Redskins.

“I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name,” Trump said in October 2015.

“Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name, unless the owner wanted to.”

In 2014, the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the “Redskins” trademark, saying the team name and logo were disparaging to Native Americans. 

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