A local congresswoman says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should follow the example of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and urge the Washington Redskins to change their "racist name."
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) says Silver acted without hesitation when faced with racism, adding the NFL shouldn't resist changing a name that has "racist and demeaning connotations."
Monday, Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and imposed a $2.5 million fine after Sterling was recorded criticizing a woman, identified by TMZ and Deadspin as his girlfriend, for posting online about bringing black friends to games.
"Roger Goodell, as the commissioner of his league, is inevitably that leader and 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," Norton said in a press release issued Tuesday.
Last May, Norton and nine other members of Congress wrote a letter to Goodell, team owner Dan Snyder, FedEx president/CEO Frederick Smith and the other 31 NFL owners urging them all to consider adopting a new nickname for Washington's football team.
Synder has said in the past that the team's nickname has been "presented in a way that honors Native Americans.'' And last month, he announced the creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, which he says will "provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities" for Native Americans.
But various groups continue to protest the team's name, with one activist calling Snyder's attempt to assist Native Americans "somewhere between a PR assault and bribery."
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Snyder has given no indication that he plans to change the team's name.