By Caroline Schaeffer
Washington Redskins President Bruce Allen responded to the 49 Democrats who are calling for a change to the team’s name, which they claim is racist.
According to Fox News, Allen wrote a three page letter which said the 82-year-old name is respectful of Native Americans, and that most Native Americans and Americans as a whole support the name.
Almost all of the Senate Democrats – 49 out of 53 – signed a letter addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking him to find a way to change the name. Senate Republicans were reportedly not asked to participate.
The letter cited the NBA’s recent decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life following the release of tapes in which he can be heard making comments about African Americans.
Allen and owner Daniel Snyder have held fast, citing the long history of the team. Additionally, Allen’s letter noted that Native American leaders designed the teams logos and that 83% of polled Americans favor keeping the name.
Via Fox News:
“Our use of `Redskins’ as the name of our football team for more than 80 years has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans.”
Democrats claim that tribal organizations representing over two million Native Americans say they want the name dropped. They have spent time on the Senate floor discussing why the name should be dropped.
The NFL has publicly supported the Redskins, saying that the team’s name has always been intended to “present a strong, positive, and respectful image.” And this makes perfect sense: Who would pick a team name that they didn’t believe honored the organization?