‘Redskins’ Name Opponents See an Opportunity Thursday Night in Minnesota

Because the Metrodome is publicly run, activists trying to change the team name think they can limit use of the “Redskins” moniker.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Nov. 7, 2013, 9 a.m.

Thursday night’s game between two mid­dling teams, the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins and Min­nesota Vik­ings, might not of­fer sports fans much in the way of ex­cit­ing ath­leti­cism. But it has giv­en op­pon­ents of the Red­skins’ name an open­ing for their fight.

Back in Wash­ing­ton, the D.C. Coun­cil passed a res­ol­u­tion this week call­ing on own­er Dan Snyder to change the name of the foot­ball team, call­ing it of­fens­ive and ra­cist. May­or Vin­cent Gray also came out in fa­vor of a name change. Snyder has long said that the Red­skins name is not of­fens­ive and that the team’s his­tory should be honored.

But now, politi­cians out­side of the Dis­trict are get­ting in­volved in the de­bate. The Red­skins are in Min­nesota on Thursday, a state that is home to many Nat­ive Amer­ic­ans. And what makes this game dif­fer­ent is that it is be­ing played in a pub­lic fa­cil­ity.

A protest, or­gan­ized by mem­bers of the Amer­ic­an In­di­an Move­ment In­ter­pret­ive Cen­ter in Min­neapol­is, is chal­len­ging the pan­el that man­ages the sta­di­um not to dis­play or an­nounce the name “Red­skins.” Of­fi­cials at the Min­nesota Sports Fa­cil­it­ies Au­thor­ity earli­er denied a re­quest to lim­it the use of the Red­skins’ logo. But that’s not stop­ping the protest or the out­cry from law­makers.

Rep. Keith El­lis­on, D-Minn., wrote a let­ter to the au­thor­ity mem­bers Wed­nes­day ur­ging them to re­con­sider their de­cision to dis­play the logo, say­ing, “The use of this term is in­con­sist­ent with our state’s val­ues and his­tory.” The Oneida Na­tion, a group that has been at the fore­front of op­pos­i­tion to the “R-word,” ran ra­dio ads in Min­neapol­is this week.

Even six mem­bers of the Min­neapol­is City Coun­cil and the out­go­ing may­or, Demo­crat R.T. Ry­bak, have urged the Wash­ing­ton foot­ball team to change its name. He said in part:

It has nev­er been right to dis­respect the in­di­gen­ous people of our coun­try, and it is es­pe­cially wrong to do it in 2013 with the name of a team that rep­res­ents our na­tion’s cap­it­al.

I stand with elec­ted of­fi­cials across the coun­try, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Min­neapol­is City Coun­cil, and many, many oth­ers who be­lieve it is long past time to change the name of Wash­ing­ton’s NFL team. It is deeply dis­ap­point­ing that calls for re­spect have not been heard, and I will join oth­ers in look­ing for ways to bring change, in­clud­ing ur­ging those who agree to boy­cott mer­chand­ise of the Wash­ing­ton Foot­ball Fran­chise.

Pro­test­ers are sched­uled to gath­er at the cen­ter Thursday af­ter­noon and march to the Metro­dome to protest be­fore the game.

Rep. Betty Mc­Col­lum, D-Minn., who has been a lead­ing na­tion­al voice on this is­sue, will also be march­ing with the pro­test­ers. The co­chair of the Con­gres­sion­al Nat­ive Amer­ic­an Caucus was one of 10 mem­bers of Con­gress who sent a let­ter to Snyder in May to change the name.

It’s un­clear wheth­er the Min­nesota Sports Fa­cil­it­ies Au­thor­ity will heed the calls of these of­fi­cials, but it might make the game between these two teams a little more fun to watch.

What We're Following See More »
“CLINTON MUST BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT”
Bernie Sanders Seeks to Unite the Party
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."

“MUST NEVER BE PRESIDENT”
Elizabeth Warren Goes After Donald Trump
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.

FLOTUS OFFERS STRONG ENDORSEMENT OF CLINTON
Michelle Obama: “I Trust” Hillary Clinton
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.

SANDERS BACKER CONFRONTS STUBBORN SANDERS SUPPORTERS
Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust: “You’re Being Ridiculous”
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.

‘INEXCUSABLE REMARKS’
DNC Formally Apologizes to Bernie Sanders
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."

Source:
×