Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made a good point on Tuesday when he tweeted criticism about how the National Football League deals with controversy.
I find it stunning that the NFL cares more about how much air is in a football than it cares about a racist franchise name.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) May 12, 2015
An NFL report found it "more probable than not" that employees of the New England Patriots deliberately deflated footballs ahead of the 2015 AFC Championship Game, noting quarterback Tom Brady was likely aware of the action. In response to the report, the NFL suspended Brady for four games, fined the Patriots $1 million and stripped them of their 2016 first-round draft pick and 2017 fourth-round draft pick.
In May 2014, Reid endorsed a letter signed by 50 senators and sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging the NFL to change the name of Washington's football team. In June of that year, Reid took to the Senate floor to slam Dan Snyder, the owner of the team, for refusing to change the name even after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name "Washington Redskins."
“The Redskins no longer have trademarks. They are gone,” Reid said. “Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing and change the name.”
“Snyder says it’s about tradition. I ask, what tradition? A tradition of racism. That’s all that that name leaves in its wake,” Reid added. “The writing is on the wall. It’s on the wall in giant, blinking, neon lights.”