House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the word “Redskins” is a slur that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should not protect.
“We all respect freedom of speech, but the trademark office has rejected names which are considered offensive and they should do it now,” Pelosi told the National Congress of American Indians, via 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 NFL and its teams have trademarks that prevent unauthorized sellers from selling merchandise with team names, colors and logos. Losing the trademark on the name would allow anyone to print knockoff Redskins gear and cost the team and the league millions of dollars a year in merchandising.
Dan Snyder may not be willing to change the Redskins’ name because some Native Americans are offended by it, but he would likely change his mind on the subject if losing the trademark affected the team’s profitability.