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.
The letter isn’t the only thing members of Congress are doing to force the hand of the Redskins. Nonvoting Delegate Eni Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa, put forward a bill earlier this year that would remove federal trademarks that use the term “redskin.” That bill, with the mouthful name of the Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013, was referred on April 15 to the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, where it currently waits.