Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday called on National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s name in the wake of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA.
“I believe Roger Goodell is a good man but it’s time for this good man to act,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said on the Senate floor. “How long will the NFL continue to do nothing, zero, as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?”
Mr. Reid said the NBA made the right decision by banning Mr. Sterling for life in the wake of racist remarks he made on a recently unearthed recording and that the NFL should follow basketball’s example.
He also called on Mr. Snyder to change the name — something the Redskins owner has said will never happen.
“It is untoward of Daniel Snyder to hide behind tradition,” Mr. Reid said. “That’s what he says in refusing to change the name of the team … what tradition? A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake.”
As precedent, he pointed to the Washington Wizards’ changing the team name from the Bullets because of the previous name’s association with violence.
Mr. Reid has previously expressed support for a name change for the team.