WASHINGTON — From brands to celebrities, sports teams and schools, most everyone was tweeting some form of “Happy Thanksgiving” on Thursday. But a tweet from the Washington Redskins account raised a lot of eyebrows,
The NFL team wrote “Wishing you and your family a Happy #Thanksgiving” with a picture of the Redskins symbol and the words “Happy Thanksgiving.”
That didn’t settle well with people, especially ones on social media, WTIC first reported.
“Can you now show your #Thanksgiving thanks by abandoning your racist moniker? #ActionsSpeakLouder.”
In June 2014, The U.S. Patent Office canceled trademarks belonging to the Redskins football team, saying they are offensive to Native Americans. The decision came in response to a suit brought by five Native Americans. Even members of Congress have pressured the team to change their name.
In Nov. 2015, attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief urging Richmond’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the cancellation of the Washington Redskin’s trademark, and called for First Amendment right protection for the Redskins team name.
The district court said the ruling did not violate the Redskins First Amendment rights.
“The ACLU agrees that the Washington team’s name and trademarks are disparaging to Native Americans, and we have made clear that we believe that the team should change its name and discontinue use of its current trademarks,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga. “At the same time, however, we believe that government is prohibited by the First Amendment from denying a trademark on that basis.”
While The Week called the Thanksgiving tweet “perfectly oblivious,” perhaps the tweet was meant to spark a conversation. No one is upset at other teams tweeting about Thanksgiving, should Washington’s team be able to do the same? Apparently not.
Some Twitter uses called it “ironic,” while others thought it was just plain stupid.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder opposes a name change, vowing to keep it against both public and congressional pushback. He contends the name, which the team’s had for 80 years, is part of a tradition important to fans.