In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives today, the Washington Redskins’ name was decried as a racial slur and a term that causes pain to Native Americans.
Eni Faleomavaega, the non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives from American Samoa, said on the House floor today that he is appalled that the NFL would allow a slur to be used as one of its team names.
“It’s time the National Football League and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, face the reality that the continued use of the word ‘Redskin’ is unacceptable,” Faleomavaega said. “It is a racist, derogatory term, and patently offensive to Native Americans. The Native American community has spent millions of dollars over the past two decades trying earnestly to fight the racism that is perpetuated by this slur. The fact that the NFL and Commissioner Goodell continue to deny this is a shameful treatment of the mistreatment of Native Americans for so many years.”
Faleomavaega was one of the members of Congress who sent a letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder saying that his team name is as offensive as the N-word. Faleomavaega said today that Snyder has not responded, but Faleomavaega seemed even more upset by the response he did receive from Goodell.
“Mr. Goodell, however, in a dismissive manner, declared that the team’s name is a ‘unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.’ Give me a break,” Faleomavaega said.
Snyder is entitled to keep ignoring members of Congress and keep insisting that he’ll never change his team’s name. But members of Congress aren’t going to make it easy on Snyder.