Pokagons weigh in on Redskins controversy


On Wednesday, the U.S. Patent Office canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registrations, which have protected one of the most valuable sports brands in the world since 1967.

Not only did it say the name Redskins is offensive to Native Americans, it added that the trademarks probably should not have been granted in the first place.

Our reporting partners at WSJM recently contacted the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians to ask their opinion of the matter.

"The R-word crosses the line for us," a spokesman said. "Native American names and images in sports are a concern to many Pokagons, but issues like fighting diabetes, providing safe and affordable housing, and getting a good education are our most pressing topics."

Locally, Paw Paw High School's sports teams are known as the Redskins, while Saugatuck and Hartford are both the Indians, and Dowagiac uses the Chieftans nickname.

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