Redskins

Lawmakers Ask NFL to Support Redskins’ Name Change

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A letter signed by more than 100 Native American, religious and civil rights organizations describes "redskin" as a "government-defined racial slur" that has been used to disparage American Indians "throughout history." (credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A letter signed by more than 100 Native American, religious and civil rights organizations describes “redskin” as a “government-defined racial slur” that has been used to disparage American Indians “throughout history.” (credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A national debate over the Washington Redskins’ name spilled into the California Legislature on Monday, leading to a testy exchange between two lawmakers.

A resolution urging a name change was among dozens of items considered as the legislative session enters its final two-week stretch. ACR168 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, says the Redskins name is disparaging to Native Americans and urges the National Football League to support a name and mascot change.

“We live in a society where a history of racial prejudice requires us to especially be sensitive to the use of words and phrases derived from generations of hate, bigotry and violence,” he said.

The resolution passed 49-5 and heads to the Senate over the objections of Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, who says the state Legislature doesn’t need to weigh in on such issues.

“They don’t need the help of us here in California,” the former Republican gubernatorial candidate said. “We have serious major crises that are going on in the world.”

Alejo often objects to Donnelly, who once patrolled the border as a volunteer Minuteman, bringing up immigration during unrelated bill debates. Alejo told him Monday that he is “is in no position to talk about wasting the Legislature’s time.”

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has stood by his team’s name, even after the U.S. Patent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cancelled its trademark in June.

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(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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