TIME

Reid: NFL Should Handle Redskins Owner Like NBA Handled Sterling

Harry Reid NFL
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talks to reporters as Congress returns from a two week recess, at the Capitol in Washington on April 29, 2014. AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants the NFL to take a hard line on the Redskins, a name many consider offensive

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks the NFL should “take an assist from the NBA” when it comes to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his team name.

Reid, speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday a day after the NBA banned Los Angles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for his racist rant, said the NFL should take a similar approach toward Snyder, who has long resisted calls to change a team name considered offensive by many Native Americans.

“Since Snyder fails to show any leadership, the National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat who touted his state as home to 22 tribal organizations. “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?

“I believe [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell is a good man but it’s time for this good man to act,” Reid added. “For far too long the NFL has been sitting on its hands doing nothing while an entire population of Americans has been denigrated. … Remove this hateful term from your league’s vocabulary and rid the league of racism and bigotry.”

Snyder has said the name “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.”

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