John Oliver Takes On The Redskins' Comical Legal Argument

He's got a point.

Last night, HBO late night John Oliver put into words what we were all feeling about the Washington Redskins’ recent trademark appeal . He called Washington’s latest move to avoid addressing the racist nature of their franchise name “obnoxious,” explaining that their entire argument missed “the fucking point.” We couldn’t agree more.

In their Oct. 30 appeal, the Redskins claimed that their own trademark is no more offensive than a number of racy, explicit and oft sexual company brands -- such as "Capitalism Sucks Donkey Balls," among others -- and that “just about everything is potentially disparaging to someone.”

Oliver didn’t take too kindly to that flawed, flippant line of defense. 

“[That] may be the most obnoxious part of the Redskins’ entire 83-page appeal," Oliver said. "Because, A, no it isn’t, and B, that’s not the fucking point. The word ‘Redskins’ isn’t ‘potentially’ disparaging to ‘someone,’ it is currently disparaging to specific individuals.” 

His solution? Simple. If Washington plans to stick with its party line that the name “Redskins” is meant to honor this nation’s Native American heritage, then let’s all honor owner Dan Snyder in a similar fashion: “By renaming [our] fantasy football teams, ‘Dan Snyder is a thin-skinned racist whose sunglasses look like something a tacky pedophile might settle for.’” 

“Hey, hey, Dan,” Oliver finished, “Don’t get upset, everything is potentially disparaging to somebody.”


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