Congress Members Keep Pressure on Washington, DC NFL Team

Warning letter mentions the NFL's $10 billion tax-exempt status.

By Carla Murphy Feb 10, 2014

Some members of Congress are again pressing the National Football League to support a name change for the Washington, DC NFL team. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in response, it says, to a January 31 press conference in which he called the team name an "honor" for Native Americans.

The letter makes a point of bringing up the NFL’s tax-exempt status.  According to The New York Times, Cantell in an interview Sunday, said, "lawmakers would "definitely" examine the N.F.L.’s tax-exempt status and other ways to pressure the league. "You’re getting a tax break for educational purposes, but you’re still embracing a name that people see as a slur and encouraging it," [she] said.

Cantwell chairs the Indian Affairs Committee and Cole is a member of the Native American Caucus. Ten members of Congress sent Goodell a similar letter last May.