“I hope you will attended one of our home games, where you would witness first-hand that the Washington Redskins are a positive, unifying force for our community in a city and region that is divided on so many levels,” Bruce Allen wrote Reid.
The Nevada Democrat has been leading a movement to change the name of the D.C. team among other Senators in his party. The group, which is opposed to the name, sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, requesting him to support a name change for the team. Reid also used the social media platform Twitter, as well as the Senate floor, to complain that the name is ‘offensive’ and ‘derogatory.’ He also said that Goodell, and the owner of the Redskins Dan Snyder, should follow the lead of the NBA, which recently banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from having anything to do with basketball for the rest of his life, in the aftermath of his making racial slurs.
Allen’s father was the head coach of the Redskins during the 1970s, and his brother George was a senator and governor of Virginia, mentioned in his letter to Reid that the name “originated as a Native American expression of solidarity.”
He also stated that the team’s logo was designed by Native Americans. In addition, “an overwhelming majority” of the American-Indian community are not offended by the name, as demonstrated by a recent poll. Allen pointed out that most Americans, as shown in survey, agree that the team should keep its name as it is.
Allen also pointed out that the Redskins will continue to offer support to the Native American community through the Washington Redskins Original American Foundation.
“It is our mission to help tackle the troubling realities facing so many tribes in our country,” Allen wrote.