May 6, 2014 4:49 pm

U.S. lawmakers urge NFL’s Redskins to stop using ‘offensive’ team name

This Aug. 28, 2009 photo shows the Washington Redskins logo on the field in Landover, Md.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Nick Wass

ALBANY, N.Y. – The NFL should pressure the Washington Redskins to change its name, a bipartisan group of New York lawmakers said Tuesday.

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The group plans to introduce a resolution denouncing the football team’s use of the word “redskin” and urging team owner Daniel Snyder to pick a new name. If the resolution passes, New York lawmakers would join a growing list of those criticizing the team’s name, including members of Congress from both parties.

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“We shouldn’t have to put forth this resolution,” said Democratic Assemblyman Keith Wright. “The word is absolutely offensive to the Native American community and beyond.”

A New York tribe – the Oneida Indian Nation – has been leading a campaign against the name. Ray Halbritter, an Oneida representative, said the “R word” denigrates Native Americans, who he noted have higher incidences of suicide and a lower life expectancy than other Americans.

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With the resolution, he said, “New York is making a statement that it wants to stand on the right side of history.”

Snyder has defended the team’s name, calling it a “badge of honour.”

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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