The coalition of folks demanding the Washington Redskins’ owner change the football team’s name and mascot just found another ally in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In an interview with The Hill, the Nevada Democrat called out owner Dan Snyder for being “short-sided”
“We live in a society where you can’t denigrate a race of people,” Reid said. “And that’s what that is. I mean you can’t have the Washington Blackskins. I think it’s so short-sighted.”
In a letter to season ticket holders sent out in October, Snyder defended the use of the name and reiterated his vow to keep the ‘Skins the ‘Skins. The Oneida Indian Nation even met with NFL officials later that month, but there’s been no visible progress in their campaign to force a name change.
“I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn,” Synder wrote in his letter. “But we cannot ignore our 81 year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name ‘Redskins’ continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.”
Native American groups that consider it racist and offensive have been leading an effort against the name since the start of the season and politicians including President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and now Reid, have said Snyder should at least consider a change.