The Latest: Ruling gives Fighting Sioux supporters hope
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Latest on North Dakota reaction to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on offensive trademarks (all times local):
A man who is helping lead a social media campaign in support of restoring the University of North Dakota's retired Fighting Sioux nickname says a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in another case offers hope.
Justices ruled the government can't refuse to register trademarks considered offensive because it infringes on free speech rights.
David Davidson says the ruling might provide an impetus to pressure either UND or the NCAA to allow for the restoration of the nickname that the NCAA previously deemed offensive to Native Americans.
State residents in 2012 voted to dump the nickname and UND's American Indian head logo, and they were retired that year. Davidson says he thinks many residents voted against the nickname not because they didn't like it but because they feared UND would be sanctioned.
The University of North Dakota says the case of its defunct Fighting Sioux nickname is different from one before the U.S. Supreme Court that might give a boost to the moniker of the NFL's Washington Redskins.
Justices ruled in the case of an Asian-American rock band called the Slants that the government can't refuse to register trademarks considered offensive. The Redskins say it vindicates that team's position that a trademark can't be denied based on government opinion.
UND retired its controversial Fighting Sioux sports nickname in 2012 after the NCAA deemed it hostile and abusive to Native Americans. UND spokesman Peter Johnson says the NCAA's objection was unrelated to whether UND had a valid trademark.
State residents in 2012 voted to dump the nickname and UND's American Indian head logo.