The president of the Washington Redskins simultaneously rejected calls to change the team’s name while simultaneously inviting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to a game.
“I hope you will attend one of our home games, where you would witness first-hand that the Washington Redskins are a positive, unifying force for our community in a city and region that is divided on so many levels,” Redskins president Bruce Allen wrote in a letter to Reid on Friday.
Reid and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) led about 50 senators urging the franchise to change the team’s name, citing Donald Sterling’s racist comments.
“The despicable comments made by Mr. Sterling have opened up a national conversation about race relations,” Reid and the other senators wrote. “We believe this conversation is an opportunity for the NFL to take action to remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises.
In his response, Allen defended the team’s name saying the “the term Redskins originated as a Native American expression of solidarity” and “an overwhelming majority of Native Americans do not find the name offensive.”
Read the letter here.