- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

As some in Congress push to strip the NFL of its tax-exempt status over the Washington Redskins’ team name, team owner Daniel Snyder has apparently found a political ally in Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recently giving $25,000 to Mr. McAuliffe’s Common Good VA political action committee.

Mr. Snyder, who is under fire from some Native American groups who view the team name as racist, had previously given $25,000 to the 2013 gubernatorial campaign of Mr. McAuliffe. The Democratic governor has consistently said it’s not his place to wade into the affairs of a private business.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is pondering a presidential run in 2016, said last month that it is “probably” time for the team to change its name and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is also supportive of a name change. Even President Obama has previously weighed in, saying if he was the team owner, he’d “think about” changing it.

The team plays its games in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and practices in Virginia.

A recent poll of registered Virginia voters from the Wason Center for Pubic Policy at Christopher Newport University showed that 71 percent support the team’s keeping their name.

Meanwhile, some Democratic senators, as well as District Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, are pushing to end the NFL’s tax-exempt status as long as it continues to promote the current name of the team.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, a co-sponsor of the legislation introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, has repeatedly harangued Mr. Snyder and the team name on the chamber floor. Mr. Snyder says the name represents respect and honor and that he’s never going to change it.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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