WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Two members of Congress Monday asked the National Football League to take a position supporting a name change for the Washington Redskins.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, pointing out the team's mascot is "a racial slur" opposed by "virtually every major civil rights organization in America," and mentions the league's tax-exempt status, adding, "It is not appropriate for this multibillion-dollar, tax-exempt organization to perpetuate and profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people," the Washington Post reported.
Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie responded in a written statement: "Don't they [members of Congress] have more important issues to worry about than a football team's name? And given the fact that the name of Oklahoma means 'red people' in Choctaw, this request is a little ironic."
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has said in the past the team has no plans to change its name.
Goodell noted last week that in American Indian communities polled about a name change, "nine out of 10 supported the [current] name. Eight out of 10 Americans in the general population would not like us to change the name."