Reid: Sterling Ban Should Set Example for Redskins Name Change

Image: Image: Protesting the Redskins name outside of Invesco Field in Denver
Demonstrators march toward Invesco Field in Denver, Colo., to protest the Washington Redskins name as the team arrived at the stadium, Oct. 27, 2013. Courtesy Tessa McLean

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that the NBA’s ban of Donald Sterling should serve as an example for those with the power to change the controversial name of Washington’s football team.

“The National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack," said Reid on the Senate floor Wednesday. "It would be a slam dunk .. For far too long the NFL has been sitting on its hands doing nothing while an entire population of Americans has been denigrated."

Reid has been a harsh critic of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who has resisted calls by Native American groups and others to change the team’s name.

“How long will the NFL continue to do nothing – zero – as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans,” Reid said after praising NBA commissioner Adam Silver for his tough treatment of Sterling after the Clippers’ owner was caught on tape making racist remarks.

Arguing that Snyder “fails to show any leadership,” the Nevada Democrat called on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to “remove this hateful term for your league’s vocabulary and rid the league of racism and bigotry.”