Fifty U.S. Senators Endorse Washington Redskins Name Change

By Community | May 23, 2014

Further pressure has been put on the Washington Redskins to change their name after Fifty U.S. senators urged the National Football League on Thursday to endorse the change, saying the franchise’s name was a racial slur.

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the lawmakers said the league should follow the example of the National Basketball Association, which has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for bigoted remarks.

“Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did, that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” wrote the senators, all of them Democrats or independents.

“It’s time for the NFL to endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C. football team.”

The letter adds pressure on Dan Snyder, the Redskins’ main owner. He has defied calls from activists and journalists for 14 years to change his team’s name and Indian logo.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had said in January most football fans and Americans supported the Redskins’ keeping their name.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “The intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image. The name is not used by the team or the NFL in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently.”