Commissioner Adam Silver acted swiftly and decisively to remove racism from the NBA. Now it’s the NFL’s turn.
That was the argument made by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, who took to the Congress floor Wednesday to berate the NFL for failing to force the Washington Redskins to change their franchise 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 asked.
Reid praised Commissioner Silver for his ability to “swiftly move to stamp out bigotry in (the NBA’s) ranks” by banning Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after his racist remarks surfaced in an audio recording. Now, Reid believes, it’s time for Roger Goddell to take similar action by forcing Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change his team’s racially charged name and logo.
“A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake,” Reid said. “Mr. Snyder knows that in sports, the only tradition that matters is winning. So I urge Daniel Snyder to do what is morally right, and remove this degrading term from the league by changing his team’s name.”
Reid is not the first to publicly speak out about the Redskins’ name in the wake of Silver’s suspension of Sterling. On Tuesday afternoon, Oneida Indian Nation released a statement that praised Silver for his decision but also mentioned that the NFL should realize that it has a “moral responsibility to take disciplinary action” against owners like Snyder, who “continues to proudly promote bigotry” with his offensive team name.
As Sterling’s suspension continues to make waves, the controversy surrounding Snyder and the Redskins will remain a hot-button issue.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@EliteJournalist