Lawmakers are calling on the Washington Redskins to change their name. The U.S. patent office ruled the football team's name is offensive to Native Americans revoking all trademarks tied to the franchise.
The decision came in response to a suit brought by five Native Americans, none of which are from tribes in the Valley. They brought the complaint up on behalf of all Native Americans but we found not all agree.
The U.S. Patent office called the Redskins nickname "disparaging of Native Americans" and canceled the team's federal trademark protection. It doesn't force the NFL team to change it's name, but it would no longer have legal rights to it. This means once it goes through anyone can make and sell Redskins merchandise.
The grassroots campaign to change the name garnered support from leaders across the country including President Obama and members of Congress.
"Every time they hear this name is a sad reminder of a long tradition of racism and bigotry," said Senator Harry Reid .
The Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians tell us that's not how they feel.
"It's not a about a race or creed, it's a football team. They cheer the football team not the name not the logo," said Raymond Torres.
Torres, the vice chair for Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, says the term redskins evolved over the years.
"When I hear the Redskins, I don't think of a native tribe, I think of a football team," said Torres.
Mascot controversies are nothing new to the Valley, Coachella Valley High School's mascot was called into question last year.
The issue is the logo. The American-Arab Anti-discrimination committee calls it a stereotype. Coachella Valley School District is still working with the anti-discrimination group to come up with a new design. They have submitted new options and are waiting for a response.
"How far do you take this? I was looking at some of the football names, the Eagles. An Eagle to us it's a representation of a sacred bird, " said Torres. "Do we categorize that as derogatory to our spirituality, to our region?"
The bottom line, Torres says, lawmakers should focus on other issues.
"[There are] a whole lot more pressing issues out there than this logo trademark," said Torres.
The Redskins say they will appeal. In the meantime their trademark is protected.