Native News Network Staff in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WASHINGTON In an interview with the Associated Press, President Obama joined the growing chorus of Americans calling for the Washington NFL Team to consider changing its name.
The President noted that the team name is offensive to a “sizeable group of people.” Obama also affirmed the “real and legitimate concerns” of Native peoples – and many others – calling for the team to drop the “R” word.
“President Obama’s remarks underscore the fact that has become increasingly obvious – the Washington franchise is on the wrong side of history,”
said NCAI President Jefferson Keel in a statement responding to the President’s remarks of support.
“The “R” word is a racial slur, deeply offensive to Native Americans. It originated in the bounty paid for Native body parts and human flesh. It does not honor Native peoples in any way and has no place in modern American society.”
“It’s 2013. It’s time for leadership at the Washington team to heed the growing chorus – from high school students to Commissioner Goodell, and now the President of the United States – and close the chapter on this offensive name,”
added NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata.
Removing the name and caricatures associated with the Washington football team and other denigrating sports teams and mascots has long been the position of NCAI, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of the nation’s 566 tribal governments and the over 5.2 million Native peoples.
In a soon to be released background paper on the era of racist “Indian” sports mascots, the organization underscores the importance of dropping the “R” word and provides contemporary and historical background on the need to end the era of harmful and racist mascots. Among the key insights from the paper:
posted October 8, 2013 6:40 am edt