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Lawmakers Pressure NFL Commissioner To Change Washington Redskins' Name

AP Photo / Aaron M. Sprecher

In a letter obtained by the Times, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rep. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) objected to Goodell's defense of the Washington team name as an "honor" to Native Americans.

“The N.F.L. can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” they wrote.

Cantwell told the Times in an interview that lawmakers would also examine the league's tax-exempt status and take other measures to keep pressuring the league for a name change.

Cole, who is a co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, and ten other lawmakers had also sent a letter to Goodell and Redskins owner Dan Snyder last year calling on the team to drop its name.

DeAngelo Hall, a longtime Redskins player, has said that the team should probably change its name. It's a move President Barack Obama has also said he'd think about.