The uproar over the name of Washington’s NFL team has reached the level of a South Park lampooning. The Comedy Central cartoon picks up its 18th season Wednesday by spoofing the recent decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate the team’s trademarks, which, in the show’s universe, gives license to foulmouthed fourth-grader Eric Cartman to use the team’s name and logo for his own purposes.
In a short clip released by Comedy Central on Sunday, Dan Snyder, head coach Jay Gruden, and hobbled quarterback Robert Griffin III confront Cartman in an office decked out in the football team’s imagery to complain that Cartman’s appropriation is “offensive” and “derogatory.” Cartman, of course, responds that he’s only using the name and logo out of an abundance of respect for Snyder and company. Where have we heard that kind of explanation before?
But don’t let Cartman’s trademark abuse be an example just yet: Even though the USPTO says that the Washington team’s name is a racial slur, the franchise’s trademark protections are still in place while it appeals the June decision.