"Senate majority leader Harry Reid on Wednesday called on National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's name in the wake of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA.
"'I believe Roger Goodell is a good man but it's time for this good man to act,' Mr. Reid, Nevada democrat, said on the senate floor. '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?'
"Mr. Reid said the NBA made the right decision by banning Mr. Sterling for life in the wake of racist remarks he made on a recently unearthed recording and that the NFL should follow basketball's example.
"He also called on Mr. Snyder to change the name -- something the Redskins owner has said will never happen.
"'It is untoward of Daniel Snyder to hide behind tradition,' Mr. Reid said. That's what he says in refusing to change the name of the team...what tradition? A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake.'
"As precedent, he pointed to the Washington Wizards' changing the team name from the Bullets because of the previous name's association with violence."
Since Snyder is unwilling to change the team's nickname, Reid is calling on the NFL to intervene, per ESPN.
"Since Snyder fails to show any leadership, the National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack. 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."
The same ESPN update also includes a statement from Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter, who lauded the NBA for banning Sterling and called out Snyder for sticking to the Redskins nickname.
"In banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and other NBA team owners have taken a courageous stand against racism in professional sports, acknowledging that professional leagues cannot be a platform to promote bigotry.
"In taking such appropriate disciplinary action, the NBA has shown leagues like the NFL that they have a moral responsibility to take disciplinary action against people like Dan Snyder, who also continues to proudly promote bigotry with the use of a dictionary-defined racial slur as his team's name."
CNN's Dana Davidson notes Snyder wants to keep the "Redskins" nickname -- which the team has used for the past 80 years -- because it is part of a tradition important to Washington's loyal fan base.
In order to suppress antagonism over the team's name, Snyder launched the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation last month, a nonprofit organization which reaches out to Native Americans, per Davidson.DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG