The Washington Redskins have had enough of Senator Harry Reid’s repeated outbursts on the chamber floor against the team’s name. On Thursday, the team’s Twitter account asked fans to tweet at Harry Reid to “tell him what the team means to you” and show their team pride.
Last week, Reid and 49 other senators sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell, calling for him to push the Redskins to change their name, calling it a “racial slur.” In the letter, and on the Senate floor, Reid has compared Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s decision to keep the name to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist tirade last month; Sterling was later banned for life from the NBA, and the league has taken steps to strip him of ownership.
In response to the senators’ letter, team executive Bruce Allen told Reid that the name “has always been respectful of and shown reverence towards the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans,” pointing to the franchises’s history of working with American Indian tribes and organizations, as well as polling showing support for the name. He also invited the majority leader to one of the team’s home games next season to “witness first-hand” that they are “a positive, unifying force for our community.”
The team has fired back at previous efforts by lawmakers to change the name, encouraging them to focus on more important matters.
Snyder has vowed to “never” change the team’s name, and in March he started the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to benefit the American Indian community.