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Lawmakers demand action over use of racial slur by NFL team

C-Span Video: Senator Reid (NV) Speaks Out Against Washington R*dskins

Two members of Congress say the NFL should follow the lead of the NBA in addressing racism in professional sports.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the Senate majority leader, said the NFL has tolerated the use of a racial slur by the Washington team. He called on NFL Commissioner Goodell to take action against owner Dan Snyder.

"For far too long the NFL has been sitting on its hands, doing nothing while an entire population of Americans has been denigrated," Reid said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. "I say to Commissioner Roger Goodell, it is time to act. Remove this hateful term from your league’s vocabulary. Follow the NBA’s example and rid the league of bigotry and racism."

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia), a non-voting member of the House, echoed those sentiments. She said the NFL was "morally" compelled to take action.

"The increasing controversy and activism surrounding the name of our hometown football team are in search of a similar national sports leader," Norton said in a press release.

The National Congress of American Indians also agreed with the push to hold the NFL accountable. The association so far has refused to take a stand on the use of Indians as mascots.

"The NFL and Daniel Snyder must now follow in the footsteps of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and those who have made the right decision in standing against racial bigotry,' NCAI said in a statement. "NCAI is committed to ending this era where racial slurs, mocking caricatures, and rampant stereotyping are acceptable."

Get the Story:
Members of Congress link NBA’s Sterling controversy to NFL’s debate over Redskins (The Washington Post 5/1)
Senator Urges N.F.L. to Change Name of Redskins (The New York Times 5/1)
Citing NBA’s decision on LA Clippers, Harry Reid calls on NFL to change Redskins name (The Washington Post 4/30)
Senate leader: NFL Redskins should change name (AP 4/30)

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