The National Congress of American Indians is planning to send a letter against Washington's team name to thousands of broadcasters, the Washington Post reports.
The coalition, which is made up of more than 100 Native American and social justice groups, opens its letter as follows:
As the new National Football League season approaches, we are writing to ask you to join other media organizations in refusing to broadcast the Washington team’s name on the public airwaves.The team’s name is a dictionary-defined racial slur. As of 2014’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling, it is also a government-defined racial slur. Those definitions are correct.
Throughout history, this term has been used to disparage Native Americans. It is the term used by bounty hunters to describe bloody Native scalps, and it was the epithet screamed at Native Americans as they were dragged at gunpoint off their lands. No doubt, the bigotry of this word is why the team was originally given the name by its longtime owner, avowed segregationist George Preston Marshall.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder has defended the nickname and said he will not change it.
The New York Daily News announced it will stop using Washington's nickname and logo in its coverage of the team.
- Paul Palladino