Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Members of Congress to Snyder: The R-word is like the N-word


Several members of Congress have sent a letter to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, telling him that when he promises never to change the name of his team, he’s promising to keep using a racial slur.

In the letter, Snyder is told that the word “Redskins” is deeply offensive to many American Indians, and that he has a moral obligation to change the name. The letter is signed by the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) and Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota), as well as Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate in Congress.

“Native Americans throughout the country consider the R-word a racial, derogatory slur akin to the N-word among African Americans or the W-word among Latinos,” the letter states. “Such offensive epithets would no doubt draw widespread disapproval among the NFL’s fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington’s NFL football team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans.”

Snyder’s “NEVER — you can use caps” proclamation strongly suggests that he’s going to ignore this letter. But if members of Congress feel strongly enough about this, they can make it an issue that’s going to be very tough for the NFL to ignore.