On Monday, the professional football team announced that it would be officially retiring its controversial team name and logo after years of criticism.
Following the announcement, Martin McCaulay, a 61-year-old actuary from Virginia, said that he would be happy to help with a name replacement – as he has spent years filing trademarks for new team names, according to ESPN.
While the hobby initially started as a joke, in the past six years, McCaulay has filed 44 trademark applications for names the team could use, such as the Washington Red Tails, Washington Americans, and the Washington Monuments.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office database, McCaulay has filed more than five potential team names this month alone.
According to McCaulay, who has been open about his trademark applications on Twitter, he “started registering more names anticipating that some day they might want to change the name so I could give them the names if they wanted them”.
He also explained that he felt he was doing a good deed by “hoarding” the names because it meant that someone else wouldn’t try to take the names and hold up the team when they did decide to rebrand.
“Hi everyone I need to clear something up,” the 61-year-old wrote on Twitter this week. “ I want them to change the name and am embarrassed if I did anything that slows that down. I thought if I hoarded all the good names that would keep someone else who might be a pain in the neck from getting them.”
A day after the NFL team announced it would be reviewing its name, McCaulay said he emailed the organisation offering one of his trademarks for free, but never heard back.
He has since retained a lawyer, Darren A Heitner, who shared a letter he wrote to Daniel Snyder, the owner of the NFL team, in which he explained the team should have “nothing to fear” in regards to McCaulay’s name trademarks.
Dear Mr. Snyder,
Mr. McCaulay has retained @HEITNERLEGAL to assist you and your organization should you be interested in rebranding to a mark owned by our client. Mr. McCaulay will gladly do whatever is in his power to clear a path for the Washington NFL team to rebrand itself. pic.twitter.com/bnJvJlZMTh— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner)July 15, 2020
“Mr McCaulay has no intention to stand in the way of the Washington NFL team,” the letter reads. “Instead, he simply wishes to open the door to discussions so that, if the franchise is at all concerned about Mr McCaulay’s trademark registrations or pending applications, the team is aware there is nothing to fear.
“Mr McCaulay will gladly do whatever is in his power to clear a path for the Washington NFL team to rebrand itself without the need to incur substantial legal fees.”
However, as of Tuesday, the football fan said his offer to give the team one of his names for free has expired.
I think ten days of offering to give the NFL my trademarks for free is enough. My new answer will be something vague like I never expected anything but I will entertain any offer they want to make.— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay)July 14, 2020
“I think 10 days of offering to give the NFL my trademarks for free is enough,” he tweeted. “My new answer will be something vague like I never expected anything but I will entertain any offer they want to make.”
As for the likelihood of the team actually choosing to use one of the trademarked names, McCaulay told ESPN: “They’ll probably use one of my names.”
The Independent has contacted the NFL team for comment.