Nancy Pelosi says US Trademark Office shouldn't recognize 'Redskins'

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Nancy Pelosi is the latest politician to speak out against the Redskins name. (USATSI)
Nancy Pelosi is the latest politician to speak out against the Redskins name. (USATSI)

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the latest politician to denounce the Redskins name, saying Thursday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office needs to tell the NFL that it can't keep its registered trademark for the Washington Redskins.

“We all respect freedom of speech, but the trademark office has rejected names which are considered offensive and they should do it now," Pelosi said, according to the Huffington Post. "They can keep their name on the team, but when it comes to all the stuff -- that's serious money. So I think that is one path that we can go."

The Congresswoman has previously made it known that she thinks Washington's NFL team needs to change its name, saying it's "long overdue."

In January, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected a request from a company that wants to sell pork rinds called "Redskins Hog Rinds" because it considered the term "derogatory slang."

At the time, the agency was also deliberating whether to revoke the trademark protection for the Redskins.

Earlier this week, ThinkProgress.org reported that, last December, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and members of the Redskins organization -- including general manager Bruce Allen -- met secretly with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Native American leaders who support changing the name.

The Redskins, in a statement to ThinkProgress.org, said: "From time to time the Redskins have been invited to various meetings with elected officials in which the officials ask us to listen to their points of view. Most officials -- not all -- support our name, but regardless of someone's support or opposition, we are always pleased to let people know how strongly we believe the team's name honors the heritage and tradition of Native Americans.”

Goodell said last fall that Snyder would have final say in whether the team changes its name, but the last time we heard from the Redskins owner on the matter he was clear on the matter.

"We'll never change the [team] name," Snyder said. "It's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps."

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