In this era of political correctness, the Washington Redskins have come under enormous pressure to change their nickname, and that pressure increased significantly on Tuesday as ten members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder urging him to drop the name “Redskins.”
According to the Associated Press, the letter was spearheaded by the leaders of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole and Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum.
In the letter, the congressmen say that “Native Americans throughout the country consider the ‘R word’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N word’ among African Americans or the ‘W word’ among Latinos.”
The letter was also sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins official sponsor FedEx, and the other 31 NFL franchises.
The team has not responded publicly to the letter, but Dan Snyder has said in the past that the Redskins will never change their name.
In April, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted what appeared to be criticism of calls to change the team’s long-held name.
“In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness,” Griffin tweeted then.