Peshlakai urges AZ Congressional Delegation to pressure NFL to change Washington Redskins’ team name
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, D-Cameron (District 7), is urging the Arizona Congressional Delegation to support federal legislation that would pressure the National Football League to change the name of the Washington Redskins.
“The name is inappropriate, creates conflict, and we should be beyond this type of offensive naming as a nation,” Peshlakai said. “It’s time to make a change.”
Peshlakai is a member of the Navajo Nation and represents Legislative District 7, which includes nine of Arizona’s 22 federally recognized Native American Nations. She recently sent letters to everyone in Congress representing Arizona, asking them to support a bill that would revoke the tax-exempt status for professional sports leagues that use the term “redskins.”
“I am disappointed that the NFL and Dan Snyder, who owns the team, have not yet taken action,” Peshlakai said. “We must do something that illustrates the seriousness of this issue.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration because it considers the name and logo disparaging. Peshlakai said that this action, coupled with the protests outside of stadiums where the team is playing, shows how much opposition the name has.
In her letter, Peshlakai writes:
“By supporting and encouraging your colleagues to support S.2884 you can show the Native American community that this nation will no longer continue to support racial slurs for the sake of sports entertainment.”
She said that it is important to keep perspective.
“This is a sports team with a name that hurts people,” she said. “This should be a non-issue. I hope that this legislation will be enough to encourage Mr. Snyder and the NFL to do the right thing.”