Fifty of the Senate’s 55 Democrats signed a letter on Thursday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking the league to force Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s name. “The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” the letter declared. The letter also drew comparisons between Goodell’s inaction on the issue and the swift action taken by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. “Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.” The NFL responded in a statement: “The intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image. The name is not used by the team or the NFL in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently.” No Republicans were asked to sign the letter.