Now that the NBA has banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life over racist comments, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hoping the NFL will pressure Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's “degrading” name.
Reid, in a Senate floor speech Wednesday afternoon, said the NFL should follow in the path of the NBA and force Snyder to change the name of the team.
“I wonder if they have taken notice of the NBA’s decisive action,” Reid said. “How long will the [NFL] continue to do nothing ... as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?”
Reid, a Democrat, said his state of Nevada is home to 22 tribal organizations. Reid accused Snyder, who has refused to change the team name, of using tradition as an excuse to keep the Redskins name.
“A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake,” Reid said.
Reid pointed out that Washington’s professional basketball team dropped their "Bullets" name 17 years ago in favor of the Wizards out of sensitivity to the city’s crime problem.
“The Wizards have a good name,” Reid said. “Don’t you think Daniel Snyder can come up with a name?”
The Oneida Indian Nation on Wednesday also issued a call for the NFL to “take disciplinary action” against Snyder for refusing to change the Redskins name.