House Dem: 'Redskins' as offensive to Indians as 'N' word is to blacks

"Whether good intentioned or not, the 'R' word is a racial slur akin to the 'N' word among African-Americans, or the 'W' word among Latin Americans."

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He said native American leaders have tried for years to convince the Redskins to change their name, because use of that word is "derogatory, it is demeaning, and patently offensive."

But he said the NFL continues to ignore these requests. Several House members recently sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the issue, but Faleomavaega said Goodell wrote back saying the intent was never to harm American Indians.

Goodell also argued that the Redskins name has a positive meaning, an argument Faleomavaega said was made in a "dismissive manner." The delegate also took a shot at Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has said he would never change the name.

"Such arrogance is wholly inconsistent with the National Football League's diversity policy, which states, 'Diversity is critically important to the NFL. It is a cultural and organizational imperative about dignity, respect, inclusion and opportunity,' " Faleomavaega said.

He said the NFL would never stand for a team named the Blackskins or the Yellowskins, and said those names would meet with disapproval even among NFL fans.

"It is critically important that the NFL promotes its commitment to diversity, and uphold its moral responsibility to disavow the use of racial slurs."