Redskins Name: Harry Reid Wants NFL to Follow in NBA’s Footsteps, Ban Racist Name

By: Erika Watts - April 30, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making headlines for talking about racism again, but this time it has nothing to do with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Instead, Reid says that the NFL should follow in the NBA’s footsteps and ban racism–this would include the Washington Redskins name, which Reid has long deemed racist.

After audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant made waves, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban for Sterling. In addition to the ban, Sterling also faces a $2.5 million fine and will be forced to sell his team.

While some people have questioned whether Silver should be allowed to ban Sterling and force him to sell his team for comments he made in private, others are applauding Silver’s move because they believe it shows that no racism will be tolerated in the NBA. Senator Reid discussed his support for Silver’s decision and said that the NFL should do the same, particularly where the Washington Redskins name is concerned.

“Commissioner Silver and the NBA leadership have set the standard for how professional sports organization should act in the face of racism,” Reid said. “How long will the NFL continue to do nothing, zero, as one of its teams bears the name that inflicts so much pain for Native Americans.”

“It is untoward of Daniel Snyder to try to hide behind tradition,” Reid continued. “Tradition? That’s what he says in refusing to change the name of the team. Tradition? What tradition? A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake…Since Snyder fails to show any leadership, the National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack. It would be a slam dunk.”

Reid is hardly the first politician to say that the Redskins name should be changed. In fact, it was just last October that President Barack Obama encouraged Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team name to something less racially offensive. Snyder hasn’t responded to Reid’s claim that the Redskins name is racist, but Snyder said last October that he had no intentions of changing the name.

Do you think that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should ban the Washington Redskins name, or do you think that there is no comparison between Sterling’s comments and the Redskins name?

Image via Facebook

About the Author

Erika WattsErika Watts is a former teacher, now stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for WebProNews. When she isn’t busy navigating parenthood and writing, she enjoys watching college sports and reading. Follow Erika on Twitter @erikawatts83, Pinterest or

View all posts by Erika Watts
  • S Davis

    Why don’t you be concerned about getting Americans back to work, you guys on the hill are certainly out of touch with reality.

  • Fred Mgruff

    If the redskins change their name I will not watch NFL ever again. This is not racism. If people are so thin skinned maybe they need to grow some thicker skin

    • joe

      you are sooo cool and tough Mgruff, everyone should be like you.

    • Charles

      Hell we don’t even want to watch them play NOW!!?? RGIII SUCKS!!!!!

    • jen

      How about Redneck Harry? How about banning that name too?

  • Rubydo

    Harry Reid is trying to divert his potential BLN Scandel to the Redskins name issue…..Harry….retire…
    Everyone Leave the Redskins name alone……Do the Red Sox have to change their name because it could be code for Red Skinned Indians? Does Miami have to change there name because Peta does not like it? Do the Broncos have to change their name because Indians rode horses? What about the Buffalo Bills? How about Seahawks-maybe there was a Chief called that? …get over it

  • Al Ligator

    Why doesn’t the Senate ban Harry Reid??? Isn’t he the one that wrote off expenses to the taxpayers and used the funds for XMAS presents for his staff? In the business world you’d get fired for this.

  • biffula

    Reid is a goat sniffing tool. So are the idiot Nevadans who keep re-electing the Senator Least Likely to Surprise if he Comes Out of the Closet.

    • ElmerJFudd

      Stop insulting goat sniffing tools.

  • Wesley Edwards

    when did we get so touchy…get over it…if they really gave a shit about offending the american indians theyd start building boats to get our asses back to england…everybody wants to look like such a saint.

  • Myron

    The Redskins should drop Washington from its name out of embarrassment .

    • Charles

      Why be **EMBARRASSED?** Washington is FULL OF DUMBASSES!!!!

  • Daniel Gallegos

    This is the definition of Redskin. Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive.
    a North American Indian. I guess that the Native Americans still don’t deserve any respect?! The word Redskin is just like using the “N” word towards blacks. How come all other racial words/terms bring about repercussions except this one.? All people should be respected no matter what their origins are.

    Moreover, I could care less about any political affiliation. To hell with Republicans and Democrats. I have wondered this since I was a small child. Redskin is what the people that killed Natives and pushed them off of their and called them. I am not trying to argue with anyone, but how can anyone think this does not need to change? How about changing the team’s name to the Washington Natives? Sounds good to me! Doing this has nothing to do with politics! Its just the right and moral thing to do!

    Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive.

    a North American Indian.

    • William Kalen Bryce Roy

      How about you grow some thicker skin.
      An American Indian.

    • Charles

      Can we throw in “The San Francisco CHINKS?” Or maybe “The Brooklyn WAPPS?” How about “The Pennsylvania Pollicks?” or better yet, “The Hollywood Homosexuals!” The list is NEVER ENDING as IS OUR ***IGNORANCE!!!*** It’s a teaching that needs to be ABOLISHED < HEAR ME AFRICAN AMERICANS–AS THIS RELATES TO THE ALWAYS DESPISED ***N-WORD!!!*** just STOP USING IT!!!!! Furthermore, the receiving party SHOULD GROW "thicker skin!" how are we going to make it through life if we're a bunch of "PANSIES?" I'm just sayin'. PEACE and much love to ya all…..

  • wolf clan

    what an idiot………this a ploy to take our eyes off the real problems in America …..give me a break….I am a native American….this nut has no idea what real racism is…..guess what mr. senate leader…it’s not in a sports team name

  • steve

    Sell the team to Sterling!

  • John Obvich

    What does this have to do with the important issues that a federal senator should be spending their time on..

    We have Russia causing problems
    A weak president
    high unemployment
    People losing their insurance
    People paying higher insurance rates because of Obamacare.

    ETC
    ETC
    ETC
    ETC

  • Chris Ericksen

    Dan Snyder owns the Redskins. If that is the name for the Team the owner likes, he should be able to keep it. And, does anyone really think the term Redskin is in any way racist when used in this manner?

  • miscast

    My oldest friend is a pure blooded Native American who wants to find the first person of his race that wants the Redskins to chane their name.. He doesn’t get it and I guess I don’t either. He says there is no offense taken t by naming a team Redskins as a sign of respect… I’m sure there are some people who are offended but given my friend’s comments I think its being made into a much bigger issue than most Native Americans consider it to be..

  • Joseph Mango

    Harry DISINGENUOUS Reed, run your stupid brothels and shut up. Sad senility hits 1 in 1 politicians. Just looks at the gruesome twosome from CA, Fienstien and Boxer, mentally challenged and ugly.

  • Tom Hrivnak

    F%^K Harry Reid.The old bastard needs to retire.

  • Mister McJag

    It’s a f*cking name. get over it. did your parents not teach you to never pay attention to name callers? this is the pussification of america. a bunch of idiots ahve nothing better to do than complain about this. if u dont like the name then don’t root for the team, dont buy their gear. otherwise, stfu.

  • ElmerJFudd

    Who gives a F*ck what Prince Harry wants.

  • Mike

    I guess we can call them the rednecks

  • Noah R.

    Was this really the most important thing you could think of?

  • scott

    letsban harry reid from speaking he is nothing more that an America hating terrorist and a hater of freedom

  • hargen

    Maybe we can ban the “Fighting Irish” too. It is so offensive to play on the Irish stereotype of a drunken Irishman fighting. Offensive. I’m Scandinavian and I’m offended by the Minnesota Vikings, especially the logo of a stereotypical blonde mean looking man. It is just offensive. How about the Michigan State Spartans, or the USC Trojans? Both depict white guys with stereotypical pillaging and swords showing the violent tendencies. If Indian logos and names are offensive (Chiefs, Braves, etc.) will we ban the Dallas Cowboys? They aren’t cows and they aren’t boys. OFFENSIVE and demeaning. How about the sacrilege of the New Orleans Saints? Isn’t this offensive to people of faith? If America is going to start cleaning up racism, sexism, and anti-religious behavior and speech we need to be consistent.

    • Edward Potts

      Wow! I basically said the same thing 2 hours after you, having not seen this. Wise man 😉

    • Clem_the_Great

      Cowboys, Irish, etc. are not races, idiot. Also Cowboy and Irish have never been in any way considered hateful slurs. Redskin is the, uh, “n word” for Native American. I’d bet you think you deserve a standing ovation for your very hackneyed, braindead position. Silly fool. Unfortunately the world is full of your dopey ilk.

      • hargen

        Who said anything about race? The story is about offensive stereotypes. Is Redskin a race? If so is Redneck a race? Have you used the term redneck? If so have you divested yourself from your property (especially your basketball team)? Are Vikings a race? Irish a race? You wouldn’t know, all those white guys look alike. Oops, I used the term white to refer to a group of people. Imagine referring to the color of skin to define a people. Those people aren’t really white you know. But they do have rednecks (not offensive, I hear that word on tv and in the press a lot) It is usually associated with a Christian slur, like redneck bible thumper. But you don’t care about religious sacrilege either as you aren’t campaigning to eliminate the New Orleans Saints. Were you offended and did you campaign against MTV’s show, “Redneck Heaven” 2 slurs in one show. Go back to your basement you hypocritical troll..

        • Clem_the_Great

          The only valid maybe point in this evasive ramble is the “redneck” part. Redneck and the “n-word” are actually equivalent. The sham that is PC says one if super fine, the other will get you decapitated.

          • hargen

            Hey we agree on something. Now if we can get you to agree that the mascot depicting drunken, fighting Irishman is a stereotype we will be making true progress.

  • Nine

    Guess what, 24 comments, and what, 1 person in favor of the name change? People have sent a strong message repeatedly, but some in the press (and congress) just don’t want to hear it. Let It Go, no one’s offended but you, Pansy Press.

    And Harry Reid, who is definitely a tool.

  • K-NEW

    Hey Harry…..many of us would like the senate to do the same thing with you!

  • HOFFA

    Witheveryhting else going in the country..unemployement…trax breaks for big corporations..people losing their homes..this is what this fool is focusing on…

  • no one

    Enough with the damn racism, I heard that word so many times over the past 5 years that I’m f**king sick of it. I think that card has been run into the ground. I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes this. Plus, what the hell does that dumbass Harry Reid know anyhow. He’s a f**king idiot.

  • m jochum

    the Washington football team’s management has a long history of racial insensitivity weather it be the present management or that of George Preston Marshall. They were the last NFL team to have African American players (1964) and even then it was only after the threat of losing the team by the NFL. So is it really a surprise that the current management doesn’t understand the issue?

  • R Blevins

    What a joke, flipping politicians…..I’m a die hard Cowboy fan…STILL GONNA HATE THE DAMN REDSKINS!!!

  • Edward Potts

    If the Redskins name is so offensive, where do we draw the line? The Indians, the Braves, the Padres, the Pirates, the Buccaneers, the Vikings, the Browns, the Saints…etc. All these names are offensive to one group or another, religiously, historically, ethnically. Hell! Even the Reds name glorifies drugs and can be offensive to my children. Where do we draw the line? What about Beavers?

  • Tim

    They should change their name to the “Washington Thinskins” to represent the current liberal throngs that infest our nations capital

  • Joe

    Why isn’t anything being said about the Milwawkee “Bucks” mascot. It was named because the “Bucks” were agile, fast and could jump. Sounds like 80% of the men in the NBA. I smell “Racism at the core”

  • useyourheadformorethanahatrack

    There are no Natives on the team, right? So change the name. Or change it to be offending to the race that IS the majority on the team… or change it to offend the race or the owner(s).

    By the way, we are not “American Indians”.

    A) We are not “americans”. We Natives have many different nations and tribes that have been here for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. If the Chinese invaded the US would you all change your names to Chinese? I think not. The Canadians use the term “First Nations”, I like that.

    Also, the name “America” comes from the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Are we all Italians? http://www.startribune.com/nation/256644371.html

    B) Nor are we “Indians” because we are not from India. Which means the Cleveland Indians should, at the very least, change their mascot to match the name, right? To a guy with a turban and a red dot on his forehead worshiping a monkey god. Sounds fair, right?

  • Moogle

    Yes, Washington Redskins is an offensive name. They should remove the offensive part and simply call them the Redskins.

  • hosstater

    Thank the good Lord that the 2014 elections will be in november and this jack-ass and his sidekick Pelosi will be voted out as the Republicans will definitely win the Senate. Why can’t they just do their fricking job and stay our of stuff that is absolutely none of their business Worse leadership in Senate and presidency in American history Sorryist bunch of idiots ever How embarrassing!

  • pg alex

    what a lafffable piece of garbage…….find something other than your ruinous policies
    to obfuscate…….

  • Clem_the_Great

    Reid is absolutely correct here. This hateful name REDSKINS makes the US the laughing stock of the world (nation’s capital no less). PC promoters whine about every little tiny smite against some races, but THIS continues as AOK by the sham that is political correctness, which is not really about ending bigotry. It’s about something else.

    • jcm

      And the American people are so ashamed that the Redskins are ranked forth when it comes to income and worth. Guess the $$$$ don’t lie.

      • Clem_the_Great

        Herd instinct. People swallow what they’re told to swallow. Stupid Americans are the worst. They see the clowns with bleached teeth and neat hair all over their big screens on Sundays chortling “redksins” and they think it’s fine. Yet, a white woman with a TV show can admit under oath that she at some time in her life had said the, uh, “n-word” (something 95% of people have done) and her world is destroyed for it. PC is not about ending bigotry and REDSKIN proves it.

        • jcm

          So to say that a person that has grew up a REDSKINS fan, and has supported the team through thick and thin, is a racist. Ask yourself a question. Why would a team label themselves with a name that they found to be degrading? I feel it is just another attempt of a minority to gain recognition. We live in a society where it is ok for a person of color may call themselves a racist word, out of fun, but when another group other than their own says it, it is unacceptable. To me, it is a sign of ignorance when anyone say these words, and you are erasing decades of fighting that your ancestors went through to erase being called such things. Just like the Clippers throwing their jerseys onto the court before the game. The player are offended, but not enough to set the game out, it might hurt their wallets. Goes to show they compromise their beliefs when it comes to money… BTW to all my AMERICAN INDIAN friends, like it or not we are all Americans at this stage of the game. This is where we live now, not hundreds of years ago.

  • Guest

    With all the problems in our Nation, you are worried about the name of a football team? As far as the Name Redskins, it was the color the Indians painted themselves before going to battle. Worry about putting Americans back to work Moron!

  • Mustang Steve

    With all the problems in our Nation, you are worried about the name of a football team? Worry about putting Americans back to work Moron! As far as the Name Redskins, it was the color the Indians painted themselves before going to battle, not the color of their skin. You are too stupid to be in charge of anything Harry Reid!

  • Darrell Mitchell

    Surely he has SOMETHING better to do than worry about the name of a SPORTS team? Like the budget maybe? Creating JOBS? Just sayin!

  • jcm

    Harry Reid wants the Redskins to change their name… All the American people want is a government that will go to work and work toward getting this country out of the red… Yes Harry Reid, with the issues that our government has, we feel you should have no opinion or time to worry about a team’s mascot!

  • S Hamlin

    Snyder should totally change the name! Right after Reid changes his name to “Ima Idiot” and Obama changes his name to “Ima Liar”

  • Mike C

    Our society is pathetic and weak thanks to the libs. I am just glad I will be dead by the time this country is taken over by another country because we are spineless and pathetic. This pc stuff has gone so over board it’s scary.

  • Stephen

    There is only one bigger idiot in Washington than this idiot!

  • TIM

    I am OFFENDED by the NFL team’s name in Pittsburgh. My dad worked in the steel mills until they went out of business, we became poorer, and had to eat worms for dinner. Sound absurd? …and a friend of mine was attacked by a bear…so the team name in Chicago needs to be changed….Sound stupid? ….my mother had an affair with a guy named Bill, so that name needs changed too….that sounds retarded huh?
    And didn’t the Orangemen have to change their name…so there goes the Cowboys.
    And aren’t migits offended by the football team in NY, NO, you morons, not the Jets.

    • Clem_the_Great

      This has to be a put-on. Are your really this stupid? Steelers and bears are not races, numbskull.

  • TIM

    What percentage of American Indian is Harry Reid exactly? And how is HE offended by this?