The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Harry Reid alludes to Redskins nickname on #AskCommish with Roger Goodell

(Charlie Riedel / AP)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the first executive to conduct a Twitter Q&A since #AskEmmert with the NCAA president a couple of weeks ago and the results were a little tamer this time.

Until, that is, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate weighed in with a question about racism in light of the penalty given Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver last week.

Reid has been keeping up the pressure since Silver banned Sterling for life and urged owners to force him to sell the team after racist comments became public. Last week, Reid said Silver “set the standard for how professional sports associations should act in the face of racism” and called on Goodell to take notice, bringing the debate back to the issue of the Washington Redskins’ nickname. “How long will the NFL continue to do nothing — zero — as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?” asked Reid, who last month predicted the Redskins will change their name within three years.

“We all followed the Washington Wizards the last couple of weeks,” Reid said (via The Post’s Ed O’Keefe). “They are now in the second round of the playoffs. We were all happy about that. They have struggled for a long time. We support, the American people support, the Wizards. People in the D.C. metropolitan area. The Wizards have a good name. Don’t you think Daniel Snyder can come up with a name? It should be easy. He could invite the fans to choose a name. He could ask high school kids to come up with a name.”

The session began innocently enough, with questions that were a little milder than those that greeted Emmert.