http://www.democracynow.org – For decades, members of many American Indian communities have called on the Washington Redskins football team to change its name, which is based on a racial slur. Now the pressure has reached a new heights. On Thursday night, nearly a thousand Native Americans and their allies protested outside the Metrodome Stadium in Minneapolis as the team played the Minnesota Vikings.
Earlier in the day, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton suggested members of Congress put pressure on the team’s owners by boycotting its games. On Tuesday, D.C. lawmakers voted to call on the team to change its name. Also this week, the Minnesota American Indian movement took legal action to call on the state to refuse funding for the new Vikings stadium if the word “redskins” will be used there. Despite the massive outcry, the team’s owner,
Daniel Snyder has refused to change its name. “The R word is not different than the N word. Little red Sambo has to go,” says Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder and director of the American Indian Movement, and an organizer with the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media. We are also joined by Dave Zirin, political sports columnist for The Nation magazine and host of Edge of Sports Radio. “The word ‘redskins’ is a legacy of Jim Crow, it’s a legacy of the team’s original owner, George Preston Marshall, who was an arch segregationist,” Zirin notes. “The team was the last team to integrate in the NFL. When George Preston Marshall passed away in 1969, he put in his will that no money from his foundation could go to any organization that promoted [racial] integration.”
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