Suzan Harjo in Native Condition. Discussion »
In his June 5 letter to members of Congress, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, relies on the same faulty evidence as does the Washington franchise to justify the racial slur that is their team's name. He repeats the propaganda that the team was named to honor William "Lone Star" Dietz. Curiously, he does not repeat their usual identifier that Dietz was a "full-blooded Sioux." Dietz, who was German from Wisconsin, not only masqueraded as Native, but stole the identity and name of an actual Sioux man, James One Star, who then disappeared.
Dietz wrote to One Star's sister until she appeared in his draft evasion trial and asked why he was writing to her as her brother when he was not her brother. The Washington franchise and the NFL have had access to the ample evidence that refutes Dietz' claim to Indian-ness and that confirms his questionable character, including the court record and a full FBI report.
The NFL Commissioner cites an Aleut "chief", who is not culturally, socially or linguistically Aleut and has never been to Alaska, where the Aleut live, and a discredited poll to support his claim that most Native Americans do not find the objectionable name objectionable, while conveniently failing to mention that the record of NFL-financed court proceedings shows that the Native plaintiffs' position against the disparaging name has been supported by the major Native American organizations.
During constant litigation since 1992, the Washington franchise has not entered the courtroom with any Native support.
Suzan Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is president of the Morning Star Institute, based in Washington, DC. Her work includes extensive efforts to stop the usage of American Indian imagery in sports.
posted June 14, 2013 9:40 am edt