Congresswoman Norton Calls on Roger Goodell to Follow Moral Example of Adam Silver and “take the appropriate action in urging a change of the racist Washington football team name”


From a press release:

“Following actions taken by National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) made the following statement, calling on National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell to take the appropriate action in urging a change of the racist Washington football team name.

“Native people, organizations that represent them, allies of every background, and Members of Congress have for years protested and demanded a change in the disparaging and racist Washington football team name, but have made no progress with the National Football League or with team owner Daniel Snyder. A pending legal action holds real promise, but it should never come to that. When Adam Silver saw racism, he acted without hesitation to the acclaim of the nation. The increasing controversy and activism surrounding the name of our hometown football team are in search of a similar national sports leader. Roger Goodell, as the commissioner of his league, is inevitably that leader and stands at the crossroad of either leading the NFL to take the morally required action or condoning the current name of Washington’s football team. While the team’s attempts to trademark the team name have been turned back four times on grounds of disparagement by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and a new ruling that could result in a name change is expected soon, Commissioner Goodell must not allow the NFL to be seen kicking and screaming to rid the league of a team name that carries racist and demeaning connotations from a bygone era.”

Last May, Norton and nine other members of Congress sent letters to Goodell, Washington football team owner Daniel Snyder, the 31 other NFL franchises, and Washington football team sponsor FedEx, urging a change in the team name. Last March, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) introduced a bill, which Norton and the others who signed the letter cosponsored, to cancel existing trademark registrations containing the term “redskin,” and deny registration for new trademarks using the term.”

18 Comment

  • justinbc

    LOL, this lady loves her some lip service. Sorry, not gonna happen unless it’s fiscally demanding for him to do so. He’s a businessman, and will always view it as a business decision.

    • I’m personally offended by all the parallels people are drawing to the Sterling case… It is totally separate from the Redskins name controversy… Snider didn’t pick the name. I’m so tired of people who should be making useful laws taking a grand stand on issues that don’t actually help most of the people they govern just to get some TV time.

      The need to change the name for the Redskins should be influenced by fans not by the news media who is starving to create nonsensical news issues while people have no idea of what’s most important.

      I am part Native American and black, comparing incidents of racial sensitivity that don’t match only serves to undermine the importance of being aware of racism, and it serves to dilute the importance of taking real action to preserve equality.

  • jim_ed

    Eleanor Holmes Norton is that absolute master of the empty grandstand. I would never for a second doubt her ability to glom onto a safe issue with virtually zero chance of affecting anything. And if there was ever an important issue facing The District today, its the name of a company headquartered in Virginia who play their games in Maryland.

    • Well, they do have “Washington” in their name. If they were the Maryland Reds&kins, I might agree with you.

    • She has to do something with her time, since she has no voting power. It’s more or less her job to be an annoyance to the rest of Congress.

    • I hardly think a woman who worked with the Freedom Fighters in Mississippi in the early 60s or who represented a racist, white power group in their First Amendment lawsuit to have the right to march in Skokie, Ill. (and won the case in the Supreme Court) is someone who “gloms onto a safe issue.’ You oughta learn more about this woman’s accomplishments in what has been somewhat of a remarkable career.

    • Is calling for the redskins to be forced to change their racist name a safe issue now? I thought most people around here wanted them to keep their name, and that’s the reason Snyder is being so recalcitrant.

      For what it’s worth, I’m a DC citizen who’s happy to see her making this statement. The name is an embarrassment for the city.

  • That poster get an 10 out of 10 for troll effectiveness. Superbly executed.

  • jim_ed

    And Marion Barry was a civil rights champion and highly educated chemist before he became a national punchline and drove the city into insolvency, so what’s your point?

    • What’s your point? Surely you’re not comparing them. Their paths clearly diverged. As a member of the minority party in a legislative body led by a bunch of scumbags and someone who can only vote in committee, her options for legislating are pretty limited.

  • But she is right though. The name is morally reprehensible and public recognition of that would be the right thing to do. The name should be changed.

  • She’s not a fan of NFL, therefore, she should not talking about it.

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