In the wake of the suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to act on having the name of the Washington Redskins changed.
According to a post on his official website, Reid took to the Senate floor to address his issue with how the NFL has handled Deflategate, and noted that he’s shocked that nothing has been done about the Washington, D.C., team.
“Yesterday, the National Football League punished one of its most recognizable players for allegedly having tampered with game balls. I find it stunning that the NFL is more concerned about how much air is in a ball than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across our country.”
Harry Reid continued by saying Redskins is a “racist” term.
“I wish the Commissioner would act as swiftly and decisively in changing the name of the Washington, D.C. team, as he did enforcing how much air is in the football.”
Harry Reid also posted the same message on his official Twitter account.
I find it stunning that the NFL cares more about how much air is in a football than it cares about a racist franchise name.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) May 12, 2015
According to a report from the Washington Post in April, the NFL commissioner recently stated that he doesn’t find Redskins to be offensive, since “it’s the name of a football team.”
“I grew up as a Washington Redskins fan. I always looked at that as something we were proud of. In that context, it’s not being used as a racial slur.”
This is not the first time the NFL has stated that it doesn’t have a problem with the Redskins. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Harry Reid endorsed a letter signed by 50 Democratic Senators, calling on Roger Goodell and the NFL to make the team change its name. But spokesman Brian McCarthy said Redskins isn’t being used in a derogatory way.
“The NFL has long demonstrated a commitment to progressive leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion, both on and off the field. The name is not used by the team or the NFL in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently.”
Last year, Harry Reid was invited to attend a game by Redskins president Bruce Allen. According to a statement on his website, Reid sent a letter to Allen declining the invitation, saying he wants the franchise to “do the right thing.”
“I will not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people.”
Do you agree with Harry Reid?
[Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images]