The Washington Redskins got some good news Monday morning when the Supreme Court ruled that an Asian American band can call itself The Slants, even though the name might offend some people.
That appears to mean that the Redskins also will be able to continue using their name, even though it offends people as well.
Team owner Daniel Snyder was so psyched by the news that he needed all caps to describe how he felt.
“I am THRILLED!” he said in a statement Monday morning. “Hail to the Redskins.”
In 2013, Snyder famously told USA Today that he would not change the team’s name. “You can put that in all caps,” he said at the time.
Snyder never appeared to waver from his stance, even after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the following year canceled six federal trademarks for the Redskins’ trademark protection on the name because the term is “disparaging to Native Americans.”
The Redskins’ appeal on that decision was put on hold by a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., until the Supreme Court ruled on the Slants case. That happened Monday, when the high court struck down, by an 8-0 vote, part of a 1946 federal law barring trademarks that may “disparage” people or groups.
“We have said time and time again that the ‘public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers,’” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said in the case of Matal vs Tam.
Redskins attorney Lisa Blatt said in a statement that the team feels “vindicated” by the ruling.
“The team is thrilled with today’s unanimous decision as it resolves the Redskins’ longstanding dispute with the government,” she stated. “The Supreme Court vindicated the Team’s position that the 1st Amendment blocks the government from denying or canceling a trademark registration based on the government’s opinion.”