Oregon Public Broadcasting

U.S. Senators urged the National Football League Thursday to change the Washington Redskins name. A letter signed by 50 members was sent to the NFL commissioner.

Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden signed the letter asking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to push for a name change for the Washington D.C. football team.

The letter says the team's name is a slur and that "racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports."

Jacqueline Keeler is with the activist group Members of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. She says her organization opposes all native mascots because they promote stereotypes of native people.

"We will continue to call upon the NFL and Commissioner Goodell to stand up and do the right thing."

In a written response, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says "The intent of the team's name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image."

All senators who signed the letter are Democrats.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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