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U.S. Sen. Harry Reid won't attend Redskins games unless nickname changes

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has maintained he will never change the team’s name. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has maintained he will never change the team’s name. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he won't attend Washington Redskins home games until the football team changes its name.

Reid, who is the Senate Majority Leader, wrote a letter to Redskins president Bruce Allen saying he will "not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur."

According to the letter, Allen invited Reid to a team event and says the nickname Redskins "disparages the American people."

Many groups, including the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation want the nickname changed and last month, the team hired a lobbyist firm to help with the public backlash over the name after senators sent a letter to the National Football League saying they also wanted the name changed.

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The full letter from Reid reads:

I received your letter and invitation to attend a Washington, D.C. football team event.

During my time in the United States Senate, I have worked to right many of the injustices endured by Americans throughout the country. Among the most egregious in the history of our country are those injustices inflicted upon American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. This is personal for me. I represent 27 tribes as the Senator from Nevada and have worked to protect their homelands and their sovereignty. I have a duty to ensure that the United States uphold centuries-old treaty and trust obligations towards Native Americans, and I take this responsibility very seriously.

I will not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people. Nor will I consider your invitation to attend a home game until your organization chooses to do the right thing and change its offensive name.

 
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