Politics | Sports

Senate Democrats urge NFL to take action against racist mascot

The logo for the Change the Mascot campaign

Fifty Senate Democrats sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, urging him to take action against the Washington team's racist mascot.

The letter notes that the NBA disciplined a team owner who made racist comments. The lawmakers say the NFL should do the same to eliminate a long-standing slur against Native people.

"Now is the time for the NFL to act," the letter states. "The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of history. What message does it send to punish slurs against African Americans while endorsing slurs against Native Americans?"

The letter was circulated by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), the former chairwoman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. She hosted a meeting with Goodell, tribal organizations and representatives of the Washingtn team in December, ThinkProgress reported.

All but five Democrats in the Senate signed the letter. Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Tim Kaine, both of Virginia, did not join the effort -- the team hosts its training camp in Virginia.

Get the Story:
Citing N.B.A. Example, Senators Urge N.F.L. to Act on Redskins’ Name (The New York Times 5/22)
Senators urge NFL to act on Redskins’ name, citing NBA action with Donald Sterling (The Washington Post 5/22)
U.S. senators send letters to Goodell (ESPN 5/22)

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Sen. McCain calls on NFL team owner to address racist mascot (05/02)
Lawmakers demand action over use of racial slur by NFL team (05/01)
Nicholet Deschine: The reality of eliminating a racist mascot (04/30)
Oneida Nation urges discipline for Washington NFL team owner (04/30)
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