RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Three Virginia state lawmakers are forming a ''Redskins Pride Caucus'' to defend the Washington, D.C.-based football team that's come under pressure to change its name.
Last month, 50 U.S. senators sent a letter to the NFL urging it to change the name. And the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled last week that the Redskins name is disparaging to Native Americans and that the team should be stripped of federal trademark protection. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has refused to change the name.
Fairfax Democratic Sen. Chap Petersen, Manassas Republican Delegate Jackson Miller and Loudon Republican Delegate David Ramadan scheduled a news conference Monday at the Capitol to announce the caucus' formation.
In a news release, the lawmakers say their group would support ''commercial freedom'' in Virginia and oppose what they call Congress' ''inappropriate involvement'' in issues related to the Redskins.