Nine members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday proposed legislation that would prohibit the word "Redskins" from being trademarked.

The racial slang is used primarily by the Washington Redskins football team and has long been a source of controversy. Native Americans have argued the word is an offensive and demeaning racial epithet.

USA Today reported the bill, introduced by Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), would cancel all existing trademarks for "Redskins" and prevent the registration of future trademarks. The bill is called the the Non-Disparagement of American Indians in Trademark Registrations Act of 2013.

"The use of the word is hurtful and insulting to our nation's first inhabitants," Faleomavaega said in a statement. "Now is the time to end this injustice."

A group of Native Americans asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the trademark last month, citing laws against disparaging names. But the judge isn't expected to issue a ruling for up to a year. The football team has previously won lengthy legal battles over its name.

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[Image via Lee Diehr, Creative Commons licensed]