House is latest to pressure Redskins to change name

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The Washington Redskins continue to be pressured repeatedly to change the team’s name during the offseason.

The challenges range from legal ones such as with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to personal ones from American Indian groups, clergy and media figures.

The latest effort comes from several House Democrats in the form of a new bill seeking to void the Redskins trademark. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is an original co-sponsor.

Her support, she says, is about solidarity “as an African-American who knows what it feels like to be called disparaging names.”

“I am a terrific fan of the Redskins,” Norton says. “I’ve never been a fan of their name.”

Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen has consistently said the team will not change its name voluntarily and that it takes great pride in the moniker.

The bill offered in Congress is a long shot.

“I didn’t sign onto this bill because I expected it to be rushed to the floor tomorrow. I signed on to the bill as a statement of solidarity with American Indians,” Norton says.

Like others, she imagines the tables being turned if another group found the team’s name to be disparaging. “Nobody would do that to African-Americans, and I think we need to step up for American Indians, as well,” she says.

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