Washington’s professional football team lost another game Sunday, but owner Daniel Snyder’s biggest headache might not even be his star quarterback’s reinjured knee. As opposition to the name of his football team continues to swell, Snyder got another prominent opponent over the weekend, this time in the form of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
In an interview with The Hill, Pelosi said it “probably would be a good idea if they change the name,” adding herself to a growing list of members of Congress and political figures who have spoken out against the name this year. Both Native American members of the House Indian Affairs Committee oppose the name, as does D.C.’s delegate to Congress and other members who signed a letter asking NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to consider a change earlier this year. President Obama last month said that he would “think about changing” the name were he in Snyder’s position.
Snyder has successfully dismissed congressional criticism and a growing wave of opposition from Native American groups — the Oneida Nation, the National Congress of American Indians, and others — and is in the process of defending his franchise against a federal lawsuit challenging the name’s trademark protection. And while public opinion remains tilted in his favor even in D.C., that tide may be shifting too, thanks to opposition from the city’s black clergy members that will soon intensify.
Rev. Graylan Hagler, a senior minister at D.C.’s Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, has been preaching against the name for two decades, and he told Religion News Service last week that he now has more than 100 other clergy committed to preaching about the subject in the coming weeks. Hagler and his fellow clergy will also circulate petitions through their congregations to send …read more