NFL Told to Rename R-dsk-ns or Risk Losing Tax Exempt Status
(CNN) -- Two lawmakers have joined the debate over the name of the Washington R-dsk-ns football team, writing a letter to the National Football League calling for a name change and threatening to hold hearings on the subject.
The name R-dsk-ns is "an insult to Native Americans," according to the two lawmakers, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington state and chairwoman of the Indian Affairs Committee, and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, who is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.
"This term does not honor -- but rather disparages -- Indian people and tribes," they wrote in their letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The National Football League can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name."
Cantwell said the advocacy of the National Congress of American Indians, including a video made by the organization, was part of what prompted her letter to league officials.
NFL officials "have heard from the leading representatives of Native Americans in our country," she said. "So are they going to change the name, or are they going to continue to use an offensive name?"
Cantwell said she was ready to make an issue of the tax-exempt status the NFL enjoys and plans to push for Senate hearings on the subject. "With our tight economic budget, we can't afford to have tax breaks going to organizations that basically have terminologies that are offensive to the American people," she told CNN.
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