By Kaidia Pickels, a Fall 2014 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern
The infamous cartoon series “South Park” caused quite a stir last Sunday when it released a trailer that satirizes Washington football team owner Dan Snyder’s continued use of the team’s offensive name. The clip, which aired during the fourth quarter of the matchup between Washington and Philadelphia on Sunday, has quickly gone viral.
The trailer was used to promote the 18th season premiere of Comedy Central’s cartoon series, which aired last night. In the clip, Cartman, one of the show’s primary characters, begins to use the team’s name and logo to promote his own company, which he claims is perfectly legal given that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six of the team’s trademark registrations last June. A cartoon Snyder challenges Cartman and calls the move “offensive” and “derogatory.”
“When I named my company…it was out of deep appreciation for your team and your people,” Cartman responds, mocking Snyder’s refusal to change the name of the team.
While the clip seems to only have been aired on television in the Washington, DC area, it quickly drew national attention after “South Park” posted the trailer on its YouTube channel, where it currently has almost 2 million views.
The NFL and Snyder have faced increased scrutiny since 50 U.S. senators called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to change the team’s name. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights voted last December to pass a resolution urging Snyder to change the offensive name. “Changing the name is the right thing do, regardless of how comfortable fans have become with it. And when Mr. Snyder does decide to put the slur away, I think he’ll discover a new market of consumers who recognize the dignity of all people and want to honor that with the sports teams they support,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference.