Nancy Pelosi called on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday to strip the Washington Redskins' trademark. (Bill Clark/Getty)
While many have called on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's name, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) is proposing an alternate strategy: hitting Snyder's wallet.
Pelosi, speaking Thursday at an event hosted by the National Congress of American Indians, called for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to tell the NFL that the league can't keep the registered trademark for the Washington Redskins. The trademark prevents unlicensed vendors from making and selling merchandise with the team name and logo.
During her speech, Pelosi said:
"We all respect freedom of speech, but the trademark office has rejected names which are considered offensive and they should do it now. 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."
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Pelosi also made clear that she believes the team should change its name outright.
In January, The Washington Post reported
that the Patent and Trademark Office has rejected trademarks using the phrase "Redskins" 11 times since 1992, each time because the office argued that the term disparaged Native Americans.