Washington to retire mascot
The professional NFL football team, the Washington Redskins, that’s played its home games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, announced Monday morning it will be retiring its mascot.
In a short news release, the team announced they would be retiring the nickname, which has been long considered a racial slur to Native Americans.
The statement said team owner Dan Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera were working together to create a new name and design.
On Friday, a longtime proponent of the name change, Amanda Blackhorse, said on social media that hundreds of Native leaders, university professors and students and journalists signed a July 6 letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, to “demand” owner Dan Snyder to not just change the name, but to change the football organization completely.
“The undersigned are Native American leaders and organizations that have worked tirelessly and substantively for over half a century to change the racist name of the Washington team,” the letter to Goodell said. “We appreciate the statements made in recent days regarding the league and the team’s intention to revisit the name.”
FedEx, the team’s stadium naming-rights sponsor, stated on July 2 the company “communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.“
On Monday, President Jonathan Nez called the announcement a “historic day for all Indigenous peoples.”
“We strongly encourage the NFL Washington organization to rename their team in such a way that truly honors and respects the First Americans of this country,” Nez said in a news release.
Washington has a pre-season game against the Tennessee Titans scheduled on Aug. 15, and a regular season game against Philadelphia on Sept. 13.