Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says the NFL should consider ousting Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
Snyder has been criticized — even by President Obama — over the name of his football team, which is considered a racial epithet against Native Americans.
Time reports that on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, Reid said the NFL should look to how the NBA handled the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The league banned Donald Sterling for life over racist comments he made in an audio recording.
According to Time, the Democratic leader of the Senate said:
“Since Snyder fails to show any leadership, the National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack. 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. 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 he will not change his team’s name because it is a “badge of honor” that represents a long tradition.
Reid dismissed that argument. He said, according to Politico:
“It is untoward of Daniel Snyder to try and hide behind tradition. Tradition? That’s what he says, in refusing to change the name of the team. Tradition? What tradition? A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake.”