Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to put an end to the Washington Redskins — their name at least.
Reid took to the floor this afternoon commending NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for acting, “justly in punishing Donald Sterling for his harmful racist behavior.”
Yesterday, Commissioner Silver suspended the Los Angeles Clipper’s owner from any NBA events and began the process of forcing Sterling to sell his team after a recording of his biased comments about black people to a girlfriend were made public.
The Nevada Democrat explained that, “NBA leadership have set the standard for how professional sports organizations should act in the face of racism,” before taking aim at the National Football League and Daniel Snyder, the owner of Washington’s professional football team.
Snyder refuses to change the name of the team name in spite of what some see as its offensive nature.
“How long will the NFL continue to do nothing, zero as one of its team bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?” asked Reid.
Members of Congress have been in contact with Goodell and Snyder regarding a name change, though the league has taken no formal steps towards renaming the team.
Washington, D.C., Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton also issued a statement earlier today reminding Goodell that he “stands at the crossroad of either leading the NFL to take the morally required action or condoning the current name of Washington’s football team.”
Washington has a history of teams changing their offensive names, Reid reminded the chamber. Almost 20 years ago, Washington’s NBA franchise changed from the “Bullets” to the “Wizards.”
Today the Wizards are headed to the second round of playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.