If you guessed that latest entity wanting to distance itself from Washington’s NFL team would be an online store for independent craftspeople, you were correct. Etsy, the catalog of cute, kitschy, homemade wares says it will stop listing items that feature the name or logo of the Washington team.
In a blog post, Etsy says it was motivated by the US Patent and Trademark Office’s June decision to cancel the team’s trademarks because the name is a dictionary-defined racial slur against Native Americans.
“Like the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, we at Etsy find the opinion of the minority group itself to carry most weight in determining whether the mascot is disparaging,” Bonnie Broeren, the company’s policy manager, writes. “In no uncertain terms, Native American groups have consistently advocated and litigated that the term “redskin(s)” is disparaging and damaging to Native Americans. Therefore, it will no longer be permitted in our marketplace.”
A quick search on Etsy for the Washington team yields nearly 1,600 items, most of which print the club’s name or logo. Broeren writes that crafty fans can still sell items in the team’s burgundy-and-gold color scheme provided they do not include the name or familiar logo, like this horned wool cap.
Before applauding Etsy for taking this stand, it’s worth noting that the decision to take down listings for items featuring the Washington team’s iconography could be doing Dan Snyder and company a favor. The team’s trademarks are still in effect while it appeals the trademark board’s decision, and Etsy is now willfully scouring unlicensed uses of those trademarks from its website.