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WASHINGTON -- Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Saturday that the pro football teams nickname is "respectful" toward Native Americans. On Thursday, half the U.S. Senate urged National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell to change the Washington clubs name, saying it is a racist slur and it is time to replace it. The franchise responded by releasing Allens letter. "Our use of Redskins as the name of our football team for more than 80 years has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans," he wrote. The letter references research that "the term Redskins originated as a Native American expression of solidarity." It notes that the teams logo was designed by Native American leaders and cites surveys that Native Americans and Americans as a whole support the name. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has refused to change the name, citing tradition, but there has been growing pressure including statements in recent months from President Barack Obama, lawmakers of both parties and civil rights groups. Last month, Reid took to the Senate floor to say Snyder should "do what is morally right" and change the name. In a letter Thursday, 49 senators mentioned the National Basketball Associations quick action recently to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after he was heard on an audio recording making offensive comments about blacks. They said Goodell should formally push to rename the Redskins. "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," read the letter, which did not use the word "Redskins." Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida wrote his own letter saying he doesnt believe that retaining the Redskin name "is appropriate in this day and age." In a written response Thursday, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said "the intent of the teams name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image." Reid and Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state led the letter-writing effort. All senators on the letter are Democrats. Cantwell spokesman Jared Leopold said Republicans were not asked to participate. The senators noted that tribal organizations representing more than two million Native Americans across the U.S. have said they want the Redskins name dropped. Despite federal laws protecting their identity, "Every Sunday during football season, the Washington, D.C., football team mocks their culture," they wrote. "The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur." Howie Long Jersey . As for regular Olympic spectators, theyre being warned that most travel insurance policies wont cover acts of terrorism or war. The Games in southern Russia, which run from Feb. 7-23, are being staged amid unprecedented security and under global warnings of danger. Jim Otto Jersey . -- Another baseball tradition is about to largely disappear: a manager, with a crazed look in his eyes, charging the field and getting into a face-to-face shouting match with an umpire. http://www.authenticraidersfansclub.com ... ng-Jersey/. Szabados joined the Southern Professional Hockey League team last week. The 27-year-old goaltender from Edmonton backstopped the Canadian womens hockey team to Olympic gold Feb. Jack Tatum Jersey .Mila Kunis was a guest on Kimmel last night and revealed a surprising side of herself that comes out when she watches sports. It turns out screaming something vulgar at professional athletes is therapeutic for Kunis. Custom Oakland Raiders Jerseys .C. -- Steve Spurrier was much happier about South Carolinas improved performance than about his lastest career milestone. WASHINGTON -- In extra innings, with a chance to reclaim first place in the NL East, Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave two pitchers their major league debuts. Welcome to the big time, Juan Jaime and Ryan Buchter. "Perfect scenario to bring em in," Gonzalez said with a smile. "Those are big innings. We always talk when we bring em up, How are you going to use them? Whats the situation? Well, today was an extra-inning game against your division rival. Youre going to have to use them sooner or later." Jaime pitched a scoreless 11th inning and Buchter handled the 12th. Each allowed a walk but no further damage, and Buchter (1-0) got the win when the Braves scored a pair in the 13th Friday in a 6-4 victory over the Washington Nationals that flip-flopped the standings atop the NL East. "Youve got to test it out sometime, you know," said Buchter, with the game ball safely nestled in his glove in his locker. "Its a good chance to get experience." The win moved the Braves back into first place by one-half game and maintained their mastery over their division rivals. Atlanta was struggling before arriving in D.C. this week, but the club is 20-7 vs. Washington since the start of last season, including the first two of this four-game set. Evan Gattis, who earlier extended his hitting streak to 19 games, singled in the go-ahead run in the 13th off Jerry Blevins (2-3). Andrelton Simmons followed with an RBI groundout that might have been an inning-ending double play had second baseman Danny Espinosa not bobbled the ball. Jordan Walden worked the 13th for his second save, long after Craig Kimbrel blew a save for the fourth time this season. With the Nationals down to their last out in the ninth, Anthony Rendon tied the score when he got every bit of a 98 mph fastball from Kimbrel, the first homer allowed by the Braves closer in 2014. The umpires initially ruled Rendons hit a double, but a replay review clearly showed the ball striking the top of the barrier next to the visitors bullpen beyond the outfield fence. "This game changes on one swing sometimes," Washington manager Matt Williams said. "That couldve been the one swing, but it turns it out it wasnt. SSo we have to be ready to go tomorrow and put this one behind us like we always do.ddddddddddddWe got two more against these guys and a whole bunch of games left. We have to have short memories." Until Rendons homer, the Braves were poised to celebrate another nine-inning edition of continued dominance of the Nationals, this time by two-striking Stephen Strasburg into submission while riding Mike Minors 11 strikeouts. The Braves got nine hits against Strasburg, and six came with a pair of strikes, including every run-producing play: Freddie Freemans first-inning home run, Simmons fourth-inning RBI single and Jason Heywards two-run double in the fifth. That was plenty of support as long as Minor was in the game. He allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings, and his 11 strikeouts were one short of a career high. Minor had given up 11 runs and 22 hits over nine innings in his previous two starts. The Braves fouled pitches and worked the count so successfully that Strasburg had thrown 107 pitches by the time he was pulled after six innings, even though he didnt walk a batter. He allowed nine hits -- tying a career high -- and struck out eight. Minor, by contrast, was able to finish off the Nationals batters. He gave up Ian Desmonds mammoth homer in the second inning -- the ball landed only a row or two from the cherry trees behind the left-field bleachers -- and Denard Spans RBI triple in the seventh. Minors performance nearly got him his first win since May 19. "Ninety-nine per cent of the time," Gonzalez said, "he gets a W there." NOTES: Gattis has the longest active hitting streak in the majors. ... Braves RHP Gavin Floyd was placed on the 15-day disabled list, one day after breaking a bone in his throwing elbow in the seventh inning of Thursdays win. Floyd flew to Atlanta to be examined by team doctors. Gonzalez said Alex Wood will take Floyds spot in the rotation, starting Wednesday against the Houston Astros. ... Atlanta OF Justin Upton complained again of dizziness and was not in the lineup. He did not play Wednesday and appeared only as a pinch-hitter Thursday. Gonzalez said it is time for Upton to "get a full evaluation, wherever that may be." 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