Washington, DC, United States (NewsBahn) – Two members of Congress will reportedly pen a note to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Monday, asking him to lead the way in supporting a name change for the Washington Redskins.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) say the name is inappropriate for the franchise.
Cantwell is chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, while Cole serves on the appropriations committee — and is a member of the Chickasaw Tribe.
“The National Football League can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” the letter stated, according to the New York Times.
“You’re getting a tax break for educational purposes, but you’re still embracing a name that people see as a slur and encouraging it,” Cantwell added to the paper.
Goodell has indicated his reluctance to change the team’s mascot in the past.
Before the Super Bowl, Goodell told reporters, “I’ve been spending the last year talking to many of the leaders in the Native American communities. We are trying to make sure we understand the issues. Let me remind you: This is the name of a football team, a football team that’s had that name for 80 years and has presented the name in a way that it has honored Native Americans.”
The Redskins will reportedly fight to keep their name.
“[We have] more than 7,000 letters and emails” in favor of keeping the name, with “almost 200 from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans,” the team said in a statement released Monday.