Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., told ESPN.com that she expects Wednesday’s ruling to be upheld on appeal.
“This puts a big dent in their business model of trying to gain revenue from a disparaging term of slur,” she said. “I find it very unlikely that someone is going to overrule the patent office on this. This is a huge decision by a federal agency.”
Cantwell, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, wrote a letter signed by 49 Democratic senators last month that encouraged a name change. She said that if the Redskins and the league refuse to change the name, there are many options available for the Senate, including perhaps ridding the league of its tax-exempt status.
Reid also applauded the decision.
“Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing and change the name,” said Reid, who has said previously he will not attend Redskins home games until the team changes its name.