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Originally published February 10, 2014 at 6:42 PM | Page modified February 10, 2014 at 10:54 PM

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Sen. Maria Cantwell criticizes Redskins team name

The latest debate over the Washington Redskins’ name includes a stern letter from two lawmakers — including Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. — and a new “community voices” campaign from the NFL team.

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Cantwell, Cole write Goodell, call Redskins name ‘an insult’

The latest back-and-forth over the Washington Redskins’ name includes a stern letter from two lawmakers and a new “community voices” campaign from team officials.

A letter sent Monday from Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., tells commissioner Roger Goodell the league is on “the wrong side of history” and mentions the NFL’s tax-exempt status.

Cantwell chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

The lawmakers specifically objected to Goodell’s Super Bowl-week news conference, when he said the Redskins name has been “presented in a way that honors Native Americans.”

“It is, in fact, an insult to Native Americans,” the letter states.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league will respond to the letter “in an appropriate manner” once it has been reviewed.

Team spokesman Tony Wyllie responded to the letter with an email statement, saying: “With all the important issues Congress has to deal with, such as a war in Afghanistan to deficits to health care, don’t they have more important issues to worry about than a football team’s name?”

The Redskins said they have received “almost 200” letters and emails in recent months in support of the name from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans. They say they have received seven letters from Native Americans opposed to the name. Team officials released excerpts from the letters and called them “community voices.”

Meanwhile, former quarterback Doug Williams will serve as a personnel executive for the Washington franchise.


Jeter discusses Rodriguez

Captain Derek Jeter said the New York Yankees have no choice but to move forward now that third baseman Alex Rodriguez has accepted his suspension for the 2014 season.

“He’s not here for this season, so we’re going to have to find ways to win with the team that we have,” Jeter said. “It’s a complicated situation, but it’s pretty much played out.”

Ex-Mariner Rodriguez ended his extended and acrimonious fight with Major League Baseball on Friday, withdrawing two lawsuits that were filed in an attempt to overturn a seasonlong ban for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal — the longest penalty in the sport’s history related to performance-enhancing drugs.

Shortstop Jeter said he has texted with A-Rod since the lawsuits were dropped.

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda, a fifth-starter candidate hampered the past two years by a right-shoulder injury, is throwing off a mound.

“I’m feeling 100 percent right now, and my body is in perfect shape,” said Pineda, a former Mariner who has trimmed down to 260 pounds. “Everything is in the past. I’m ready to go.”

Clippard, Nats agree on contract

Right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard, 28, and the Washington Nationals have agreed on a one-year contract worth a reported $5.875 million, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

Cosart apologizes for gay slur

Houston Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart, 23, has apologized after he reportedly used a gay slur to describe pop star Justin Bieber when he tweeted a message to a former teammate.

Cosart deleted the tweet from his account and apologized for “a very poor choice of words.”

Pujols drops lawsuit

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols and former St. Louis Cardinal Jack Clark avoided a court battle when Clark issued a retraction and a public apology for comments he made last summer on a radio show accusing Pujols of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Auto racing

Petty criticizes driver Patrick

Richard Petty, a NASCAR Hall of Fame driver, says driver Danica Patrick can only win a Sprint Cup Series race “if everybody else stayed home.”

Seven-time Cup champion Petty, 76, also said Patrick only gets attention because she is a woman, but added publicity is good for NASCAR.

“If she’d have been a male, nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a racetrack,” Petty said. “This is a female deal that’s driving her. There’s nothing wrong with that, because that’s good PR for me. More fans come out, people are more interested in it.”

Petty still maintains partial control of Richard Petty Motorsports, which fields cars for Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola in the Cup series.

Ex-driver Kyle Petty, Richard’s son and a TV analyst, criticized the 31-year-old Patrick last year and she responded: “It’s true that there are plenty of people who say bad things about me; I read them. At the end of the day, you get over that stuff and trust that you are doing a good job.”


• The Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer reached a 15-year agreement with Providence Health & Services to rename their downtown stadium Providence Park.

The stadium, also home to the National Women’s Soccer League champion Portland Thorns, has been named Jeld-Wen Field after the window-and-door manufacturer in the three seasons since the Timbers joined MLS in 2011.

• Musher Allen Moore of Two Rivers, Alaska, won his second consecutive 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

• Arena Football League standout Aaron Garcia, 43, a former Washington State quarterback, was traded to the Jacksonville Sharks by Orlando. He has 1,304 touchdown passes in the league.

The Predators get quarterback Bernard Morris, defensive lineman Matt Marcorelle and offensive lineman Trevis Turner.

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