Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole wants NFL's Redskins to change team name

Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, wrote a bipartisan letter saying the Redskins name is a racial slur and that the NFL is on “the wrong side of history” in defending it.
by Chris Casteel Published: February 10, 2014
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Saying the Washington Redskins name amounts to a racial slur, Rep. Tom Cole and a Democratic senator are urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to push for it to be changed.

Cole, R-Moore, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., sent a letter to Goodell on Monday, saying that the league is “on the wrong side of history” and that it was inappropriate for the tax-exempt organization to “profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people.”

Cole is a member of the Chickasaw Nation; he joined a similar letter sent last year by 10 members of Congress to Goodell and Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

The new letter cites remarks Goodell made at a pre-Super Bowl news conference, when he said the team presented the name in a way that has “honored Native Americans.”

“But if you look at the numbers, including Native American communities, nine out of 10 supported the name,” Goodell said at the news conference last month. “Eight out of 10 in the general American population would not like us to change the name.”

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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