The Washington Post

Edward Bennett Williams’s 1972 letter to Pete Rozelle about the Redskins name

(Via the USPTO)

Here’s one more treasure unearthed from the lengthy filing made by the plaintiffs in the Redskins trademark case.

It’s a letter from Edward Bennett Williams to Pete Rozelle, after the former met with Native American activists about the name in 1972.

Here’s the top:

Dear Commissioner Rozelle,

Yesterday I met with a delegation of American Indian leaders who are vigorously objecting to the continued use of the name ‘Redskins.’ Instead of detailing the various bases for their objections, I am enclosing a rather full letter which was mailed to me as a prelude to the meeting. It sets out their position quite cogently. They have asked me to attempt to get them a hearing with the other owners at our League meeting in May. They have heretofore registered protests with other teams using either Indian names or Indian symbols; for example, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Chiefs. As a result of their efforts Stanford University and Dartmouth College have abandoned their traditional nicknames….

I shall ask Mr. Gross, who is their spokesman, to communicate with you directly on this subject.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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