Two Members of Congress Urge NFL to Reconsider Washington Football Team Name Position


Representative Tom Cole (Oklahoma - R)

Representative Tom Cole (Oklahoma – R)

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington-D), the chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Representative Tom Cole (Oklahoma – R), the co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, today, Monday, February 10, 2014, sent a letter to Roger Goddell, commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), urging him to reconsider the organization’s stance on the name of the Washington NFL team name.

The letter called into question Goddell’s comments made at a pre-Super Bowl press conference on January 31, 2014 where he defended the Washington team’s name and said it was an “honor” to American Indians.

“Let me remind you, this is the name of a football team, a football team that has had that name for 80 years and has presented the name in a way that has honored Native Americans,” Goddell said at the press conference.

“It is, in fact, an insult to Native Americans. We are calling on you and the National Football League to take a formal position in support of a name change,” wrote Senator Cantwell and Rep. Cole, who is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington - D)

Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington – D)

The two members of Congress call into question the perpetuation of a racial slur by the NFL, a tax-exempt organization.

“The National Football League is on the wrong side of history,” they wrote. “It is not appropriate for this multibillion-dollar 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization to perpetuate and profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people.”

“It is time for the National Football League to formally support and push for a name change for the Washington football team,” concludes the letter.

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