WASHINGTON -- The glare of the controversy over the sports team name "Redskins" has just gotten a little brighter, with Congress now weighing in on the matter.
Several House members have co-sponsored legislation that would strip the NFL's trademark of the term "redskin", a move that comes as a federal trademark panel considers the petition of a group of young American Indians who's made the same request, claiming the Washington Redskins' name is offensive.
The bi-partisan legislation was introduced by Del. Eni Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa, who said in a statement,"The use of the word is hurtful and insulting to our nation's first inhabitants. Now is the time to end this injustice."
Faleomavaega's bill has nine co-sponsors, including Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Rep. Tom Cole(R-OK), the co-chairpersons of the Congressional Native American Caucus. Cole told Roll Call in January that redskin is "needlessly offensive to a large part of our population."
The Redskins certainly do not agree. General Manager Bruce Allen told the media after a meeting of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board earlier this month that the team is proud of its name and has no plans to change it.
A ruling by the federal panel on the petition to cancel the trademark could take several months to surface. The House bill currently has no companion legislation in the Senate.
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