Cache Creek tribal chairman lauds trademark decision

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2014 - 11:48 pm
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 22, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Marshall McKay, tribal chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, applauded Wednesday’s finding by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the name Redskins “is disparaging of Native Americans.”

But McKay acknowledged that if the U.S. government cancels the football team’s trademark, anyone can use the “R-word” and market team merchandise.

“Yocha Dehe proudly supports those who brought the case against the trademark, but I think that’s still going to be a big problem, that just opens up the market to dilute the team’s finances and doesn’t make the word go away.”

McKay said he’s meeting with leaders from about a dozen Central California Indian nations today to talk about the effects of the federal government’s ruling “and see what this group wants to do next … right now, it’s wait and see.”

Yocha Dehe, which runs the Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County’s Capay Valley, ran a TV ad during the NBA Finals urging the Washington NFL team to change its name.

The emotional 60-second ad, “Proud To Be,” apparently had an impact on the federal government, McKay said.

“The restriction of the R-word was something our ad was focused on and had something to do with educating the people in the Trademark Office,” he said.

– Stephen Magagnini

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