Navajo President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez hailed a federal judge’s ruling canceling federal trademark registrations and protections for the Washington professional football team’s name and logo as a victory for Indian Country.
In a meeting with Amanda Blackhorse, one of the lead plaintiffs in the decades old case against the team name, President Begaye and Vice President Nez extended their congratulations to Blackhorse.
“We congratulate you and all of your partners who fought and won. This is a victory for all of Indian Country,” said President Begaye.
In the spring of 2014, the 23rd Navajo Nation Council passed a resolution opposing references to Native people in professional sports franchises. Begaye and Nez, who both served as Council Delegates in the 23rd Navajo Nation Council voted in favor of the resolution.
“The only option the team has is a desperate plea to the U.S. Supreme Court to intercede on their behalf in order to hold on to a racist name and racist tradition. This represents a victory, but the struggle is not over. All Native mascots must go,” said Blackhorse.
Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelley supported the Redskins, and said the use of the logo celebrated Indian Country. Begaye and Nez were elected to office this year.