In a statement posted to their blog, Etsy Policy Manager Bonnie Broeren establishes the company's commitment to artistic freedom of speech, addresses limitations to that freedom, and emphasizes their policy against products that demean people based on "race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation." They have found that the term Redskins and the NFL team's logo does indeed violate company policy. Broeren writes:
Like the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, we at Etsy find the opinion of the minority group itself to carry most weight in determining whether the mascot is disparaging. In no uncertain terms, Native American groups have consistently advocated and litigated that the term "redskin(s)" is disparaging and damaging to Native Americans. Therefore, it will no longer be permitted in our marketplace.
We understand that fans wish to support their favorite football team, and we do not believe that fans who are attached to the mascot have any racist feeling or intent. We also understand that some fans view the name and mascot as an homage to Native Americans, and we do not doubt their noble intent, but the fact remains that Native Americans themselves find the term unacceptable.
The policy went into effect immediately (last week). Sellers will be allowed to offer items that contain the team colors and location (that way you can tell Washington fans apart from and Gryffindor fans). This is an awesome and strong move on their part.
Image via Getty.