Members of Congress to Dan Snyder: The R-Word Is Like The N-Word

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has made it clear on several occasions that he will NEVER change the teams nickname. 

Now Congress, as only it could,  has chimed in on the Washington Redskins nickname battle. According to Indian Country Today, Several members of Congress have sent a letter to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, saying that every time he promises to not change the teams nickname, “he’s promising to keep using a racial slur.”

In the letter, Snyder is reminded 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) Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota), and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate in Congress.

“Native Americans throughout the country consider theR-word a racial, derogatory slur akin to theN-word among African Americans or theW-word among Latinos.  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.”

“The current Chairman and Chief of the Penobscot Nation, Chief Kirk Francis, recently stated in a joint statement that the [R-word] is ‘not just a racial slur or a derogatory term,’ but a painful ‘reminder of one of the most gruesome acts of . . . ethnic cleansing ever committed against the Penobscot people.’  The hunting and killing of Penobscot Indians like animals, as declared by Chief Francis, was ‘a most despicable and disgraceful act of genocide’…

“In this day and age, it is imperative that you uphold your moral responsibility to disavow the usage of racial slurs.  The usage of the [R-word] is especially harmful to Native American youth, tending to lower their sense of dignity and self-esteem.  It also diminishes feelings of community worth among the Native American tribes and dampens the aspirations of their people.

“We look forward to working with you to find a solution to this important matter.”

As Snyder has already stated, he’s NEVER going to change the nickname, and emphasized that with capital letters.


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