Redskins 'strongly disagree' with Reid on name change

The Washington Redskins on Thursday said it strongly disagrees with Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) after the majority leader publicly called on the team to change its name.

In a statement sent to The Hill, the Redskins stated, "The Redskins respect Senator Reid, and he is, of course, entitled to his opinion. However, we strongly disagree based on what we are hearing from Native Americans and based on the generations of pride and heritage that our name represents."

Reid on Wednesday told The Hill that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is "shortsighted" by opting not to change the name. 

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He said, "We live in a society where you can’t denigrate a race of people. And that’s what that is. I mean, you can’t have the Washington Blackskins. I think it’s so shortsighted.”

Reid and other critics of the Redskins mascot have cited how the name has offended Native Americans. 

The Redskins say the team has received different feedback.

"As we heard from Andy Block, who wrote to say he lived and worked on the Shoshone-Paiute reservation in Owyhee, Nev., ‘The Redskins are by far the favorite franchise of any sport. The offices of both hospital administrators at the Indian Health Service hospital were covered in Redskins posters, calendars and gear. ... The first day of work several laborers showed up wearing Redskins shirts and/or hats. They loved the team as much as I did ... Hail to the Redskins!' "

The team added, "We agree with Andy Block and we are proud of the tradition, passion and heritage for which the Redskins name stands."

The Democratic Party's three most powerful leaders — President Obama, Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — have called on the Redskins to change its name.