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50 Senators Sign Letter Urging NFL To Change Redskins Name

(CBS) The pressure on the Washington football franchise to change their name from the Redskins is heating up.

Fifty senators have signed a letter urging the NFL to press Washington's ownership and management for a name change, as some view the current Redskins moniker as racially insensitive, according to a New York Times report.

"The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur," read the letter, which was circulated by Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, and endorsed by Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the majority leader. "We urge the N.F.L. to formally support a name change for the Washington football team."

Redskins management, spearheaded by owner Daniel Snyder, has repeatedly said the team won't change its name. Instead, the franchise views the nickname as a tribute to "the courage of Native Americans," the Times reported, and added that many Native Americans support the name.

But a fair portion of people also view it as racially offensive, and it's created a firestorm.

More from the Times:

The letter from the Senate said, however, that "Indian Country has spoken clearly on this issue." It said that organizations representing more than two million Native Americans and 300 sovereign tribes had passed resolutions supporting a change in a team name they found to be racially offensive.

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