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Senators Maria Cantwell and Harry Reid presented a letter to the NFL calling yet again on Roger Goodell to force the Washington Redskins to change their name in the wake of the strong actions taken by the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver against Clippers owner Donald Sterling. As you may recall, during Lord Rog’s “#AskCommish” Twitter session, Senator Reid challenged the NFL commissioner’s power asking, “Commissioner Goodell, do you believe you have the authority to act against racism in the NFL like Mr. Silver did in the NBA?”

Now it’s not just Senators Cantwell and Reid calling on the league to change the name, fifty members of the US Senate signed the letter telling the league it’s time to drop the Redskins name.

Dear Commissioner Goodell:

This month, Americans applauded the rapid and decisive reaction from new National Basketball
Association Commissioner Adam Silver to the racist remarks of Los Angeles Clippers owner
Donald Sterling. Commissioner Silver sent a clear message that racism will not stand in the
NBA.

BOOM! Right of the gate, the US Senate is basically telling Lord Rog that he’s not the most powerful man in sports commissionerdom anymore. I can’t vote for fifty senators, but man right now I wish I could.

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

You hear that, Goodell? A large government body is calling you outdated in a letter that was probably typed on a TRS-80.

The despicable comments made by Mr. Sterling have opened up a national conversation about
race relations. We believe this conversation is an opportunity for the NFL to take action to
remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises.

Well, conversations about race relations never went anywhere, they just got drown out by talk about “American Idol” and whether or not people should bring an umbrella to work that day.

Professional sports have tremendous power to influence American society and strengthen our
communities. From Jesse Owens to Jackie Robinson to Billie Jean King, athletes have often been a driving force for equality and diversity in our nation.

Oh man, Jesse Owens. People love to talk about Jesse Owens and Hitler. Have you stood up to Hitler, Lord Rog? No?  Pity.

Now is the time for the NFL to act. The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of
history.

THE Washington D.C. football team. Like how college football has THE Ohio State and THE University of Miami. THE Washington DC has a certain swagger to it.

What message does it send to punish slurs against African Americans while endorsing
slurs against Native Americans?

Your answer, Rog?

This is a matter of tribal sovereignty and Indian Country has spoken clearly on this issue. To
this point, we have heard from every national Tribal organization, including the National
Congress of American Indians, United South and Eastern Tribes, and the Affiliated Tribes of
Northwest Indians. These organizations represent” more than 2 million Native Americans across
the country and more than 300 Tribes with government-to-government relationships with the
United States. These organizations have passed resolutions in support of a name change as they find the Washington, D.C. football team name to be racially offensive. We have heard from
tribes across the country, including the Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the Country, who
oppose this name. To understand this viewpoint, we urge you to watch the video, “Proud To
Be”
, posted on the National Congress of American Indians website.

This is when Dan Snyder shows up with a backhoe he bought for a group of Native Americans to show you he has support for the Redskins name

At the heart of sovereignty for tribes is their identity. Tribes have worked for generations to preserve the right to speak their languages and perform their sacred ceremonies. Many of today’s tribal leaders have parents and grandparents who were punished and prosecuted for practicing their ceremonies or speaking their languages. That is why tribal leaders worked with Congress to enact laws like the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Native American Languages Act, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. These are all federal laws intended to protect and respect tribal culture and identity. Yet every Sunday during football season, the Washington, DC. football team mocks their culture.

In all fairness, football pretty much mocks everything and everyone of culture. It’s a killing machine.

The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur. We urge the NFL to formally support and push for a name change for the Washington football team.

THE Washington football team. It’s growing on me.

Sincerely,

50 US Senators including Senator Al Franken which always makes me smile to see in print.

(Letter via NYT)