Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) has joined with nine other members of Congress and more than 50 tribes and organizations in urging Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL’s Washington XXXskins football team, to change his team’s racist name. For decades, Native American leaders and tribal organizations have advocated for an end to the use of this derogatory and demeaning “brand."
The NFL’s Commitment to Diversity policy, found on the league's employment web page, states, “It is a cultural and organizational imperative about dignity, respect, inclusion and opportunity.” Unfortunately, in the case of Native Americans it appears that the league’s organizational imperative is not about dignity or respect, but the exploitation of racist branding for profit.
In letters addressed to team owner Dan Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and FedEx Chief Executive Officer Frederick Smith (the XXXskins main corporate sponsor), Congresswoman McCollum and the nine other Congress members called on the executives to end their profiteering from this racist team name. (Read the Letter Congress Members Sent to D.C. NFL Team Owner Dan Snyder)
"It is shameful that Dan Snyder and the NFL continue to exploit for profit a racial slur that demeans millions of Native Americans," said Congresswoman McCollum, in a press release. "This entire issue could end tomorrow with a simple decision by Mr. Snyder to change his football team's name to any of a million different mascots that would offend no one.
"It's time for the NFL and the team’s corporate sponsors to wake up, respect cultural diversity, and join Native American leaders in urging Mr. Snyder to change his team's racist name."
Congresswoman McCollum serves on the Appropriations Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.