The founder of the Asian American rock group The Slants has announced his support for those who want the Washington Redskins to change their name.
In an extensive interview with Indian Country Simon Tam maintained his case to trademark his band’s name does not contradict those who oppose the name of the NFL team as offensive, as some have maintained.
“I’ve been a long-time supporter of the Change the Name campaign,” Tam said.
“For me, it is important to move forward with idea of cultural competency and really focus on who is being marginalized here. So, that’s why I continued to talk to numerous organizations, tribal leaders, and activists from many different groups. Not to think they could represent all Peoples, but to say what can I do here? For me, I was put in this battle: Either I fought against a law that was allowing the Trademark Office to deny people based on their sexual orientation or their ethnicities or … some of my arguments might be potentially hijacked by a racist’s football team.”
In the interview, Tam talks about how only Asian Americans have been denied the right to trademark names deemed offensive and accuses the Patent and Trademark office of completely dismissing those who want to deal with the reappropriation of offensive terms.
You can read the interview in its entirety in Indian Country.