NFL securing trademarks for defunct franchises ahead of 100th season

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As the NFL’s 100th season approaches, the league is quietly securing trademarks for some of its historical franchises that no longer exist.

The Duluth Eskimos played in the NFL in 1926 and 1927, and trademark attorney Josh Gerben notes that the league recently filed a trademark application for the Duluth Eskimos name.

The language of the league’s application suggests that the NFL might be planning to have a team play under the Eskimos name, Gerben writes. Duluth is in Minnesota, so the Vikings would be the obvious choice to play a game wearing Eskimos throwbacks.

The Canadian Football League has trademarked the word “Eskimos” for its own franchise, and the CBC notes that the Edmonton Eskimos have been criticized for using a term that some see as outdated and disrespectful.

The Duluth Eskimos were best known for star player Ernie Nevers, who played both seasons the franchise was in the NFL and was the coach for the second season. Nevers is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who in 1929 scored all 40 points (six touchdowns and four extra points) in the Chicago Cardinals’ 40-6 win over the Chicago Bears. That remains the NFL record for most points scored by a player in one game, and is the NFL’s oldest record.

31 responses to “NFL securing trademarks for defunct franchises ahead of 100th season

  1. How about the Rochester “Jeffersons”, will they reclaim them from the junk yard? LOL

  2. Probably for gear to sell this year – I’m down for a Pottsville Maroons shirt.

  3. You know what is outdated and disrespectful?
    All the Millennials and career protestors who want to coin everything freakin thing as racist or disrespectful

  4. Look Im not one for condoning lewd or racist behaviour, but I have to say society is going crazy. I mean mentally unstable… I mean different… Cant say half the words I want to becausw Ill offend someone.

  5. So far, “Eskimos” is only disrespectful in Canada. This country needs to stop taking umbrage at other people’s umbrage. Get on with your lives Bubbas

  6. Speaking of defunct franchises, here’s hoping that we see the San Diego Chargers for a game next year. There’s an extinct pro franchise that would be welcomed back with open arms.

  7. “The Providence Steam Rollers”, that name is outdated and disrespectful to my great grandaddy who favored dirt roads over pavement.

  8. “the CBC notes that the Edmonton Eskimos have been criticized for using a term that some see as outdated and disrespectful.”


    – Kiviaq, the first Inuk player to play for the Eskimos in 1955, and now a lawyer, has said: “(Eskimos is) what civilized man called us. German isn’t a derogatory word, Italian isn’t. American isn’t,”

    – Allan Watt, The Edmonton Eskimo’s vice-president of communications and marketing: “Today, the only people who call the offices about it are reporters. I know from time to time there’s some chatter on Twitter about it, but as far as our season seat-holders, our customers, our fans, we just never hear from them,”

  9. White people be telling other people how they should feel and what should and should not offend them….

  10. So, when does the outcry over the Redskins start again? Anyone notice that Snyder stood his ground and it slowly went away? Hmmm….

  11. I find the names “Jeffersons” and “Steam Rollers” very offensive…….

  12. Story reminds me of the ABA/NBA merger deal with the Spirits of St Louis….Owners of the franchise, which folded as part of the merger, had a deal with the NBA that paid them TV revenue in perpetuity, until a lawsuit by the NBA in 2014. So from 1976 til 2014, the owners of the defunct franchise got like 1.9% of the TV money with no team……This is apparently the kind of thing the NFL wants to avoid. I’d try to trademark something like that if I could!

  13. For the intellectually challenged people who are not native to the Arctic … “Eskimo” is term widely used by racist jerks with derogatory intent. That’s why thoughtful people don’t say that word. It’s associated with racism.

    With regard to “Eskimo Pie” — historically there have been commercial products in the US that had the n-word in the product name. Those products changed their name. At some point Nestle is going to have to rename that ice cream product.

    As for the people who are all grumpy about “political correctness” because they have to stop saying “Eskimo” (life is so unfair to you). This has zilch to do with politics. It’s about using language in a way that’s both more accurate and more respectful. People used to think saying “Police Officer” instead of “Policeman” was unnecessary and just political correctness. Calling “fire fighters” “firemen” used to be considered political correctness. My advice is to get over the language change. It doesn’t cost you anything. And maybe avoid dragging your knuckles when you walk.

  14. My god, if Duluth had a professional team again…why, why, why… Next thing ya know, Minneapolis/St Paul would want one too.

    Ohhhh…the humanity

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