Because of the apparent shortage of more federal-level issues with which to occupy themselves, a handful of Congresspeople are still going strong in their quest to forcibly bring about the change they would like to see in the name of the local football team. A poll earlier this month found that just shy of 80 percent of Americans nationally approve of the Redskins’ keeping their longstanding moniker, but several lawmakers have been pursuing the aim with an especial vengeance so far this year: They already have a bill in committee that would deny the Redskins their trademark — presumably intended to wear the NFL team down by allowing other business to cut into their merch profits — and earlier this month, they delivered a piece of their minds to the brand’s various managers. From the NJ:
Those 10 members—including Congressional Native American Caucus cochairs Tom Cole and Betty McCollum—announced Tuesday they sent letters earlier this month to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick Smith pushing for a change to the team’s name.
“Native Americans throughout the country consider the term ‘redskin’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N-word’ among African Americans or the ‘W-word’ among Latinos,” the lawmakers wrote. And their criticism is not just limited to the Washington team, but to the entire NFL: “We must also acknowledge that the NFL will never fulfill its ‘Commitment to Diversity’ as long as this racial slur remains a key component of the NFL organization.” You can read the full letter to Commissioner Goodell here. The letter to Dan Snyder is embedded below.
Dan Synder issued an all-caps proclamation that his team will NEVER change its name earlier this month, and indeed, I wouldn’t count on the Redskins folding under the various attempts to apply pressure anytime soon — but who knows how the next owner will feel about the whole thing.