In Congress, the most controversial thing about the Washington Redskins isn’t the status of quarterback Robert Griffin III’s right knee, or who or what is to blame for its torn ligaments. For 10 members of Congress, the real issue is the team’s name itself.
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.