The Associated Press reported Tuesday that 10 members of Congress sent letters urging the team to change its nickname. The letters went to Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins sponsor FedEx and the other 31 NFL franchises.
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The Washington Post released a list of the 10 Congress members involved: Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.), Donna M. Christensen (D-Virgin Islands), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia).
We haven't written a lot about the nickname controversy because Snyder has made it so clear that he's not interested in making a change. But the national government getting involved feels like a different development in the saga.
"Native Americans throughout the country consider the 'R-word' a racial, derogatory slur akin to the 'N-word' among African Americans or the 'W-word' among Latinos," the members wrote. The leaders of Congressional Native American Caucus were among those sending the letter.
It's one thing to say a team name won't be changed because of tradition. It's another to categorically dismiss the pleas of Native American leaders in government. The Redskins nickname issue has popped up from time to time over the years, but the topic has had some serious staying power this offseason.