WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- Senate Majority Harry Reid said on the Senate Floor Wednesday that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's hardline stance against racism should serve as an example to other leaders of the nation's professional sports leagues.
Reid, D-Nev., called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to force Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change his team's name, often seen as disparaging toward Native Americans.
“The National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack," Reid said. "For far too long the N.F.L. has been sitting on its hands doing nothing while an entire population of Americans has been denigrated."
Silver announced Tuesday that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Silver was banned for life from the NBA for making racist remarks against black people.
Goodell has previously argued that the Redskins moniker "honors Native Americans," while Snyder has often said that keeping the name is a matter of "tradition."
"I’ve listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name,” he said. “But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too.”