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Upcoming Events

Wednesday, April 22, 12:10-1:00pm

The Washington Football Team: Native Imagery, Cultural Appropriation, and the Law

Room 120


In June 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceled the Washington football team’s trademarks, calling its name “disparaging” to a “substantial composite” of Native peoples. The decision came after the Board in 1999 stripped the team of trademark protections based on a similar claim brought in Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., which a federal judge overturned in 2003. Panelists will discuss this litigation, the movement to eliminate Native mascots, and legal remedies to prevent and stop the misuse and misappropriation of Native images both in sports and other areas.


  • Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee), President, the Morning Star Institute; lead plaintiff in Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc.; 2014 Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

  • Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Director, National Museum of the American Indian; former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs

  • Professor Gerald Torres (moderator)


Co-Sponsors: ACS, Yale Sports & Business Law Association

This event is made possible by generous support from the Charles S. Mechem, Jr. (1955 L.L.B.) Fund for Student Activities.