Redskins Name Is Racist; NFL Should Follow NBA’s Lead Says Sen. Harry Reid

By: Val Powell - May 1, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called on the National Football League to change the name of the Washington Redskins as a response to long-standing charges that the name is racially offensive. This move is linked to the example set by the National Basketball Association in penalizing the team owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Reid, a Democrat, stated that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is using tradition as an excuse to retain his team’s name during a Senate speech on Wednesday. Reid has criticized the Redskins’ name in the past, and urged Snyder to “do what is morally right” by changing it immediately. In March, Reid told The Washington Post that he believes the team’s name will be changed within a three-year period.

Snyder has not showed any signs of heeding the senator’s advice since he declared to USA TODAY last year that he would “never” change his team’s name – not even if he loses a federal trademark case in court. Moreover, Snyder does not share the senator’s sentiments regarding the offensive nature of his team’s name. Prominent Native American organizations have also expressed their outrage over Snyder’s refusal to acknowledge the racial connotation of the name.

Reid praised the NBA’s move to impose a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, after he made racist remarks that caused a fury of firestorm since becoming public several days ago. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who issued the penalty, received immense support from other NBA team owners, players, and other individuals connected to the league.

In his speech, the Nevada senator went on to add that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ought to do something to eliminate this “hateful term” from the league’s vocabulary in order to rid it of “racism and bigotry”.

NFL team owners have yet to react to Snyder’s stance on the Redskins name.

Image via Redskins, Twitter

Val Powell

About the Author

Val PowellI'm a content writer, blogger, SEO enthusiast, visual artist, world traveler and lover of spicy foods. I also live and work in Queens, New York. FOLLOW ME on Twitter! @webnewsreporter or LIKE ME on Facebook! webnewsreporter

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  • Moogle

    Washington Redskins is indeed an offensive name. They should drop the offensive part and simply call them the Redskins.

  • TYPE O NEGATIVE

    Didn’t hear a word Kareem said, did ya?

    Stop jumping on the bandwagon of finger wavers

  • Megatron

    This is so stupid the team name and spirit of the game honors Native Americans and I have never had one tell me any different.

  • Dman

    What about Redskin Potato , or Yellow fever, or Black Walnuts, or the Seminoles, Or Cleveland Indians, Hell lets just change everyones name . Or even the Chicago Bears since there might offend someone who likes Bears in the crowd. Someone really needs to get a life.

  • Mike

    Harry Reid is a dbag who hates freedom. What ever happened to tolerance? Not defending racism, but the 1st Amendment applies to everyone, anyone has the right to say what they wish, someones feelings will always be hurt, if you dont like it, dont watch it, if you dont like the Redskins, then dont watch them. There will always be racists and bigots, and if this is offensive to someone then go somewhere else. If a store is openly racist, then fine they can be and I have the right to take my business elsewhere. Instead we no longer teach tolerance.

    • Richard Roberts

      What I would really like is if Sen. Dirty Harry had his name change to ex-senator Dirty Harry. No insult to Harry Callahan, but Reid is not only dirty but slimmy.

  • Mike

    Why is this even a concern for a Senator? Is this what we are paying our politicians to handle? Wait that right the NFL is a multi-billion dollar company that doesn’t pay taxes like the regular Americans and Harry Reid has to appease his handlers.

  • EMcD3

    Perhaps this is insensitive but I’m more offended by the word Washington being associated with anything native American.

  • TIM

    What percentage is Harry Native American?

  • Ylarra

    Wow. This truly is a matter of perspective. Why can’t people look on it as a tribute to the Native Americans that made it possible for us to survive? For many years, without the aid of Native Americans, colonists would have had a difficult time. I have always chosen to look at the name as a tribute to the Native Americans in this country – their strength, tenacity, and ability to survive and even triumph. I don’t see Anything wrong with the name, and think it is, in fact a better tribute than singling out any one particular tribe. In my experience, the only folks that think it’s racist are those who have leanings that way themselves, I have found.

  • jimby

    doesn’t the senator have anything better to do like create jobs ,extend unemployment benefits,look in to gas price gauging or sit down and shut up.