Congress might not be able to make progress on jobs, immigration, or gun control, but they’ve taken a stand on a long-running dispute over a sports team’s name.
A group of ten Congressmen–nine Democrats and one Republican–sent a letter to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins sponsor FedEx, and the 31 other NFL franchises urging them to change the team’s name because they feel it is racists and offensive to many Native Americans. ”As a fan, I am somewhat embarrassed to be a fan of a team that has such an offensive name. I feel reticent to post on twitter about their games because I always get feedback,” Cycle co-host Krystal Ball said on Wednesday’s show. Some of her fans comment, “How can you support a team that has such a racist name. So I agree as a fan its time to move on. Let it go.”
The Washington Redskins, who were originally the Boston Braves, were bought by George Marshall, and later had their name changed to Redskins and were moved to Washington. “This man is noted in history books as one of the most racist individuals in the NFL,” Toure said. The Washington Redskins were the last franchise to desegregate in 1962.
On May 1, 2013, D.C. Councilman David Grosso asked the team to change its name, which is a similar proposal to the House legislators’. Snyder vows he will never change the name and the public seems to agree with him. According to an AP-GFX poll, 79% believe the Washington Redskins should not change their name while only 11% believe they should, and 8% are unsure on what the football team should do.
Native Americans also don’t seem to find an issue with the name. According to the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey, 90% of Native Americans find the team name acceptable. “It’s interesting that the modern Native American community doesn’t see this as their primary fight, maybe they are focused on other issues. I think its incredibly offensive,” Ari Melber said. Yet, when it comes to changing the name, Ari ”would like to see it stopped with people power, not the government.”