Reid Says NFL Should've Dealt with Redskins First

The Nevada Democrat said the NFL should be more concerned with the team's racist name than with "how much air is in the football."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, speaks at a news conference on health insurance reform at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14, 2009.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, speaks at a news conference on health insurance reform at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14, 2009.

Photographer: Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid slammed National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on the Senate floor Tuesday for punishing the New England Patriots team over "Deflategate" but not changing what he called the "racist name" of the Washington, D.C., team.

"I find it stunning that the NFL is more concerned about how much air is in a ball than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across our country," the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor, according to a statement from his office. "The Redskins name is a racist name. So I wish the Commissioner would act as swiftly and decisively in changing the name of the Washington, D.C. team, as he did enforcing how much air is in the football."

Reid's comments came a day after the NFL said the Patriots would pay $1 million and forfeit next year's first-round draft pick and 2017's fourth-round pick. The actions followed a May 6 investigation that found "it is more probable than not" that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules" in regards to under-inflated footballs.

The NFL and Redskins did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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