In yet another effort to get the Washington Redskins to change their name, 50 U.S. senators have signed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking that the league follow the NBA's example in how it reacted to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist statements.

The letter says, "We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports. . . . The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of [the Redskins] name as anything but what it is: a racial slur. We urge the NFL to formally support a name change for the Washington football team."

Only five Democratic senators didn't sign the letter, while the New York Times reported that it wasn't circulated among Republicans.

The NFL issued a statement in response saying, "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."

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has long said that he will never change the name.