Native Americans protest Redskins’ name at season opener
The Washington Redskins began their football season on Sunday with a game in Houston. Marring their first appearance was a group of Native American protesters, who gathered outside Houston’s NRG Stadium to call the Redskins’ name racist and offensive.
The protesters held signs reading “R-Word = N-Word” and “Indians are Human Beings Not Mascots” and demanded that Redskins owner Dan Snyder change the team’s name and mascot.
“This is a racist name, and it should not be used,” Juan Mancias, a member of the Carrizo Tribe, said according to the Associated Press.
If it’s any consolation to the protesters, the Redskins were walloped by the Texans, who beat the bigot-owned team 17 – 6.
Displeasure with the Redskins’ name continues to rise as a multitude of prominent public figues and politicians also call Snyder to change the team’s name. Many newspapers, television stations, and other publications no longer mention the name of the football team. The Oneida Indian Nation sent a letter to radio and television broadcasters across the nation requesting an end to the use of the team’s name.
“The team’s name is a dictionary-defined racial slur. As of 2014’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling, it is also a government-defined racial slur. Those definitions are correct. Throughout history, this term has been used to disparage Native Americans,” the letter says. The letter goes on to mention multiple organizations and people who are also in support of a change to the team’s name.
According to ABC, members of the general public, including football fans, seem to be rejecting the name as well. Sales of Redskins items have fallen 35 percent, while the overall sale of NFL merchandise has risen 3 percent.
Snyder’s position is clear. He won’t be convinced by moral argument alone. Maybe hitting his wallet will get the message across.
Photo: mdl70 via Flickr