A letter signed by 50 U.S. senators—none of them from Idaho—was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell today, urging Goodell to take action on what the lawmakers called the "racism and bigotry" linked to the name Washington Redskins.
"it's time for the NFL to endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C., football team," wrote the senators, all of them Democrats. "The despicable comments made by (L.A. Clippers Owner Donald) Sterling have opened up a national conversation about race relations. We believe this conversation is an opportunity for the NFL to take action to remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises."
In February, two Native Americans from Idaho appeared in a two-minute commercial, protesting the NFL"s continued usage of what they said were offensive sports mascots. The ad included Leo Teton and Alexandria Alvarez, both members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
"Cheering for a football team should never include the casual use of a racial slur," said a statement from the National Congress of American Indians. "It is important for all teams and all of their fans that the name of the D.C. team is changed.”