HARRISONBURG — Fifty U.S. Senate Democrats signed a letter Wednesday urging Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, to endorse a name change for the Washington Redskins.
Virginia’s delegation, Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, did not sign the letter. Messages have been left for their offices.
A name change would send a message that “racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” the letter reads.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has refused to change the team’s name, saying it serves as a tribute — and not a derogatory term — to Native Americans.
“It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor,” he wrote to season ticket holders last fall.
Only five Senate Democrats did not sign the letter, which was not circulated among the chamber’s Republicans.