The ongoing dispute over Washington Redskin’s trademark logo could soon be settled through an early mediation settlement, scheduled to begin September 10th, shortly after the team kicks off its NFL season. The trademark case was filed by Amanda Blackhorse and four other Native American activists.
Debate has raged in the media and social circles over whether the logo is offensive to Native American groups. It should be noted that regardless of the outcome of mediation, it will have no bearing on whether the NFL will continue to support the team’s nickname. There are also numerous broadcasting outlets and broadcasters who have publicly refused to use the nickname or show graphics of the logo.
The upcoming mediation session will be by telephone and is an initial attempt to settle the dispute. It will include NFL officials and Native American activists, and has been set up by the Federal Appeals Court. According to the court, the purpose of the session is to understand the issues and evaluate the risks of an appeal – as opposed to deciding the case or reaching any official conclusions. The mediator will also look into any procedural questions or problems that could be resolved in advance. Finally, the mediator will look at any potential settlement options.
Regardless of mediation, the outcome is unlikely to put the overall debate to bed. Dan Snyder, owner of the NFL franchise, has stated repeatedly he refuses to change or alter the logo in anyway Redskins President Bruce Allen echoes the sentiments. Fans also continue to support or be neutral to the logo and many believe there are more pressing issues, in the NFL and the legal system that are a higher priority.