Last Week Tonight host John Oliver took a moment to address the Washington Redskins’ recent trademark case appeal, which argued that since the U.S. Patent Office doesn’t have a history of rejecting claims for disparaging patents, the NFL team shouldn’t be punished because their team name offends various Native American groups.
The “disparaging patents” cited by the team’s legal defense include (but are not limited to) “TAKE YO PANTIES OFF clothing,” “”BAKED BY A NEGRO bakery goods,” “RETARDIPEDIA website” and “MIDGET-MAN condoms and inflatable sex dolls.” Basically, if a patents at one time registered with the UPO was in any way sexist, racist or mildly offensive to at least one group of people, the NFL listed it as cause for its appeal.
So how did Oliver and the Last Week Tonight team respond to this? By playing short clips of national news outlets reporting on the appeal but not the names of the various patents because “they are indeed offensive,” then listing the example patent names because “here on HBO, we have no such restrictions.”
“Maybe the most obnoxious part of the Redskins’ entire 82-page appeal is when they argued, ‘Just about everything is potentially disparaging to someone,'” said Oliver. “Because A, no it isn’t, and B, that’s not the f*cking point!”
“The word ‘redskins’ isn’t ‘potentially disparaging to someone.’ It is currently disparaging to specific individuals.”
Oliver concluded the segment with a response to Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder, who has repeatedly argued that the team’s name is meant to honor Native Americans: “Intending to honor something is a lot different from actually honoring it.”
Check out the clip above, via HBO.
[h/t The Daily Beast]
[Image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]