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Redskins to Reid: Come Catch a Game, Harry

2 minute read

The president of the Washington Redskins told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Friday to come a game after Reid wrote a letter to the National Football League urging the league to change the D.C.-area’s team’s name.

“I hope you will attend one of our home games, where you would witness first-hand that the Washington Redskins are a positive, unifying force for our community in a city and a region that is divided on so many levels,” Bruce Allen told the Democratic senator in a letter posted on the team’s website Friday.

Allen’s letter is a response to a letter signed by 50 U.S. senators and sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Thursday asking him to recommend a name change for the Washington Redskins. The senators say the Redskins’ name is disrespectful towards Native American culture. Reid and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) wrote the letter, which 47 colleagues signed (Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., sent a separate letter).

Allen’s respose defends the Redskins’ name. He argues that a national survey found most Native Americans do not find the name offensive, that the logo was approved by Native American leaders and that the team’s use of the name “has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans.”

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Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com