The U.S. Patent Office’s decision to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademark might also have repercussions in Massachusetts.
According to a report in the Boston Herald, 40-plus high schools with Native American mascots in the area could endure the same fate as the Redskins. After a campaign over the past year to change the Redskins’ name, the patent office ruled on Wednesday that the team name is offensive, which could mean trouble for local high schools.
Two schools that had Native American mascots — Nauset Regional High School and Dedham High School — have already changed their names in recent years. Some, however, believe that other schools will soon follow suit.
“Over the next few years, I think we’re going to see some movement,” Pete Sanfacon, head of the New England Anti-Mascot Coalition, said. “There’s been a lot of discussion out there over the past few months that has come out of the Washington team’s nickname.”
Though many think that the the nicknames should change, there are those who want to keep the original mascots. Brian Hickey, athletic director of Tewksbury Memorial High School, said his school’s nickname, the Redmen, gives the people of the town a sense of pride.
“We’re real proud of our program and our kids and what we represent,” Hickey said via the Herald. “I think we go out of our way to honor the people who were here first in this country. I think most of the people in Tewksbury feel that way.”
The decision of whether to get rid of or keep the nicknames will be decided on a town-by-town basis, as the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said it will stay out of the matter.
Photo via Twitter/@PaulSchinider