Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has stated he will “never” change the team’s name, but a move by one of his neighbors has raised some questions about whether a change might be in the works.
Aris Mardirossian, a wealth patent investor who lives in Snyder’s Potomac, Md., neighborhood, recently registered the “Washington Bravehearts” for “entertainment in the nature of football games,” according to TMZ. He also established the Washington Brave Hearts, LLC.
The Washington Times reports that the Redskins said there is no connection between the franchise and Mardirossian’s trademark, and that Snyder does not know Mardirossian. A 2005 lawsuit against the National Park Service shows that Snyder and Mardirossian worked together in an effort to get permission to cut down trees in front of their riverfront homes.
Mardirossian’s registration comes as looming controversy around the names continue to swirl. Earlier this week, American-Indian activists attempted to force the Minnesota Vikings, the Metrodome, and local media to not display or say the “Redskins” name when the franchise hosts Washington next month, arguing it should not be used in a public facility. Representative Betty McCollum (D., Minn.) and Minnesota’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined in discouraging use of the name as well. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority ultimately deferred to the NFL on the matter, saying it does not have the authority to implement a ban.