WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement in response to the Washington, D.C. football team’s announcement that the franchise will change its name:
“Native Americans deserve our respect. Changing the Washington, D.C. football team name is the right thing to do.
“Many Native Americans and Alaska Natives are not just fans of NFL teams; Tribes partner and greatly contribute to NFL teams’ success. For example, the Seattle Seahawks worked directly with Tribal member artists in Washington state to develop the team’s logo and did so with respect. More recently, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a founding partner of the newest NFL stadium, the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and the Tribe is a sponsor of the Las Vegas Raider’s 2020 inaugural season.
“Today proves that raising our voices does matter – thank you to everyone who did.”
Senator Cantwell has been leading the fight in Congress to change the name of the franchise for more than six years. In May 2014, she led a letter signed by 50 senators urging the NFL to formally endorse a name change; she also spoke on the Senate floor about the need to change the name. Later that year, Cantwell introduced legislation that would revoke the NFL’s tax-exempt status as long as the name continued to be in use. When the franchise announced its review of the team name earlier this month, Cantwell again urged them to change the name.