News / USA

Native American Campaign Keeps Redskins Name Controversy Alive

Native American Campaign Keeps Redskins Name Controversy Alivei
X
November 14, 2013 7:35 PM
For decades, members of American Indian communities have called on the Washington Redskins football team to change its name. But as VOA’s Brian Padden reports, this year a campaign called Change the Mascot that has been organizing protests across the country is keeping the controversy alive.
Brian Padden
For decades, members of American Indian communities have called on the Washington Redskins football team to change its name, which they say is based on a racial slur.  But, this year a campaign called Change the Mascot that has been organizing protests across the country is keeping the controversy alive
   
Native American groups are escalating pressure on the Washington, D.C. professional football team to change its nickname - the Redskins - which is considered by many an offensive term used to insult American Indians.

“It is unacceptable that in this time in the 21st century a team would continue to use a racist slur over the objection by people, those people offended by it and victimized by it, especially when that team represents our nation’s capital,” said Ray Halbritter, a representative of the Oneida Nation of New York and one of the leaders of a campaign called Change the Mascot.  

The owner of the team, Dan Snyder, has repeatedly said he will not change the name, and that it is meant to honor, not disparage Native Americans.  Many diehard Washington football fans resent that support for the team is now being equated with racism.

“I feel that many Redskins fans, including myself, we feel like we are indirectly being called racist and bigoted and insensitive by supporting the team and supporting the nickname, and I don’t think that’s fair,” said Mike Richman, a reporter for the Voice of America, who has written two books on the history of the team.  

But opponents of the name are working to keep the issue alive by organizing protests in cities like Denver, Colorado when the Washington team comes to town. They have persuaded a number of sports journalists and news organizations like the San Francisco Chronicle to stop using the nickname.
 
“It is a racial slur and if we don't have to use it, we're not going to use it," said Audrey Cooper, the newspaper’s managing editor.

President Obama also has sided with Native Americans groups on this issue, saying if he owned the team he would consider changing the name.

"I don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things," he said.

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has said that if one person is offended, the league has to listen, but that ultimately it is the team owner’s decision.  While Snyder says he will never change the name, Native American opponents say time and building political pressure is on their side.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid