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Local Store Owners React to Redskins Name Controversy - abc27 WHTM

Local Store Owners React to Redskins Name Controversy

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Lynchburg, VA - Pressure continues to mount on the Washington Redskins to change their name. The NFL team announced they intend to fight the U.S. patent office's decision to cancel their trademarks.

ABC 13 spoke with a local sports store owner who says he's concerned he will be caught in the middle of this ongoing battle. The owner of B & C sports in Lynchburg says the majority of his customers are Redskins fans.

And while he is licensed to sell authentic Redskins merchandise, he says the trademark controversy might give unlicensed companies an incentive to produce counterfeit items.

At B & C sports in Lynchburg, jerseys, shirts, hats even coffee mugs all don the Washington Redskins name or logo.    

"We've been in business for over twenty years and we have never ever sold counterfeit merchandise," said owner Bryan Daniel.

Daniel says getting the license to carry these authentic 'Redskins' items in store was no easy task.

"You have to go through an application process. You have to be approved to sell the product in our case it took six months," Daniel said.

After hearing the US Patent Office's decision to strip the Redskins of six uses of the team's trademark, Daniel says he grew concerned it might spark a glut of 'Redskins' apparel.

"If there are no regulations, then it will be just an easy thing for anyone to do. That is going to compete with us," Daniel said.

"It hurts owners, It hurts players who in their latest collective bargaining agreement get a percentage of jersey sales," said Washington Post columnist Mike Wise.

H.B Atkinson, owner of the local screening company 'Cotton Connection' agrees that canceling the team's trademarks does give companies an incentive to produce their merchandise. But Atkinson says he sees it as an ethical issue and will not be using this to his advantage.

Daniel's says if the Redskins are forced to change their name, then he believes fans will support the team, by buying both the old and new merchandise.

If the team makes that decision on their own, though, Daniel says fans may rebel and refuse to buy merchandise with the new logo.

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