Redskins name controversy: Rep. Donna Edwards wants nickname outlawed

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Maryland representative Donna Edwards, whose district includes FedEx Field, has co-sponsored a bill with Rep. Eni Faleomavaega to outlaw the Washington Redskins name and strip the team's trademark protection.

"I think it's well time," Edwards says. "I certainly understand where the Native American community is coming from."

News of her bill comes a day after NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas spoke out against the Redskins' name.{ }

"Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or members of any other ethnic group," Costas said at halftime of the Redskins/Cowboys game on Sunday night.

"When considered that way, 'Redskins' can’t possibly honor a heritage, or noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent," Costas says.

And at the House of Representatives on Monday morning, Rep. Eni Faleomavaega said, "The continued use of the Redskin name is unacceptable... It is a racist, derogatory term."

Yet, fan after fan we talked to has had enough already.

"I think people need to get over it," said fan Kyle Fenstermacher. "It's just a game."

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous -- I'm from Minnesota, we have the Vikings, is that derogatory?" added Rachel Nelson.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly said that he would never change the team's name, both in comments to reporters and a recent letter to teh team's fan base.

"The name was never a label," Snyder wrote. "It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor."

But opponents aren’t backing down. The question is -- is there anything legally that can be done to force a private owner into a name change?

According to George Washington University law professor, John Banzhaf, "In the end it will be economic pressure -- whether it's trademark or stations not being able to use the name on the air -- that I think will force them to see the light."

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