Report: Democrat Senator Met with Redskins, NFL Commissioner to Discuss Name Change
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly met with top Redskins officials, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Native American groups that want a name change last December to discuss the team's nickname.
According to a report in the left-wing ThinkProgress, "Cantwell, then the chairwoman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, organized the December meeting, which was held off Capitol Hill in part to avoid publicity and facilitate an open dialogue between the participants."
Cantwell and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) have written to Goodell to argue that the Redskins' nickname is a "racial slur" that should be changed.
“The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” Cantwell and Cole wrote in a February letter to Goodell. “It is clear that you haven’t heard the leading voices of this country — and not just Indian Country."
Former Virginia Senator and Governor George Allen and his brother Bruce, who is the team's general manager, were reportedly at the meeting, which also included "several top Native American groups, including National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian."
“From time to time the Redskins have been invited to various meetings with elected officials in which the officials ask us to listen to their points of view,” a Redskins official said in a statement to the outlet. “Most officials — not all — support our name, but regardless of someone’s support or opposition, we are always pleased to let people know how strongly we believe the team’s name honors the heritage and tradition of Native Americans.”
As Breitbart Sports reported, Goodell had previously said on a local D.C. radio station, of the team's name, “If one person is offended, we have to listen. He then defended the nickname in press conferences before the Super Bowl.
After the left-leaning Public Policy Polling conducted a recent national poll that found "90 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Democrats, and 65% of independents believe the team should not change their name" while only "18% feel the team should," the Redskins touted the poll, saying it represented "widespread and deep opposition to the Redskins changing our name."
”The results of this poll are solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months – our name represents a tradition, passion and heritage that honors Native Americans," the team said. "We respect the point of view of the small number of people who seek a name change, but it is important to recognize very few people agree with the case they are making.”