KUSA – Colorado's senators are demanding the Washington Redskins remove the "racial slur" from the team's name but are not asking the same of schools in Colorado including the Lamar Savages, the Eaton Fighting Reds and the La Veta Redskins.
In a letter to the NFL on May 21, 50 of the 55 Democrats in the US Senate urged the league to take action to remove the name Redskins from Washington's team.
Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Mark Udall, both Democrats, were among the legislators who signed the letter likening the Redskins name to the racist comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
"The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of history," the letter read, in part. "The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur."
Bennet and Udall both declined to offer a similar condemnation of team mascots in Colorado, such as the Fighting Reds and the Savages.
"Senator Bennet believes this is a discussion that high schools and local communities can have," said Bennet spokesperson Kristin Lynch.
Lynch said Bennet signed onto the letter condemning the Redskins name "because it focuses on a billion dollar national sports league, with a professional team located in the nation's capital."
Senator Udall also deferred to Colorado communities rather than demand a change as he has with the Redskins.
"Senator Udall encourages local communities to have a discussion about team mascots to ensure their names are respectful and not racially charged," said Udall spokesperson Mike Saccone.
Seventeen Colorado high schools have Native American mascots.
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