Congress urges NFL to change racist team names

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2013) — U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4) has joined with nine Members of Congress and more than 50 organizations in urging Mr. Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League, to change his team’s racist name.

For decades, Native American leaders and tribal organizations have advocated for an end to the use of this derogatory and demeaning “brand”.  The NFL’s commitment to diversity states,

“It is a cultural and organizational imperative about dignity, respect, inclusion and opportunity,” McCollum said. “Unfortunately, in the case of Native Americans it appears that the league’s organizational imperative is not about dignity or respect, but the exploitation of racist branding for profit.”

In letters addressed to Owner Dan Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Fed Ex CEO Frederick Smith (the Redskins main corporate sponsor), Congresswoman McCollum called on the executives to end their profiteering from this racist team name.

“It is shameful that Dan Snyder and the NFL continue to exploit for profit a racial slur that demeans millions of Native Americans,” said McCollum. ”This entire issue could end tomorrow with a simple decision by Mr. Snyder to change his football team’s name to any of a million different mascots that would offend no one.”

“It’s time for the NFL and the team’s corporate sponsors to wake up, respect cultural diversity, and join Native American leaders in urging Mr. Snyder to change his team’s racist name.”

McCollum serves on the Appropriations Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

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