Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has obsessed over the franchise name of the Washington Redskins for months, claims that team owner Daniel Snyder “bribed” Native Americans to support the Redskins moniker and accused the NFL of ignoring that issue while prioritizing Deflategate.
Interviewed by CNN, Reid declared, “Snyder’s tried to bribe some of my folks, buy them little cars. To make this big deal about how much air is in a damn football. I’ve played a little football, I don’t think it makes any difference. And if it did make a difference, what’s wrong with Goodell and the National Football League — check the footballs before they go on the field.”
Reid doubled down on remarks he made in May after the NFL issued Tom Brady a four-game suspension, which a federal court overturned earlier this month. Reid said in May:
Yesterday, the National Football League punished one of its most recognizable players, [for] having tampered with game balls. I find it stunning that the National Football League is more concerned about how much air is in a football than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across the country. The Redskins name is a racist name. So I wish the commissioner would act as swiftly and decisively in changing the name of the D.C. team as he did about not enough air in a football.
Reid added on Twitter, “I find it stunning that the NFL cares more about how much air is in a football than it cares about a racist franchise name.”
The alleged bribery Reid referred to revolved around the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (WROAF), whose offer of $25,000 to the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe was rejected by the tribe. The foundation has spent millions of dollars to help Native American tribes; one tribe in Montana, the Chippewa Cree Tribe, received an entire new playground. The Indian National Finals Rodeo, which is held in Las Vegas, accepted the WROAF as a sponsor.