The University of Minnesota is seeking to bar use of the "Redskins" name from TCF Bank Stadium when the Minnesota Vikings host Washington at the venue on Nov. 2, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
In a letter to U.S. Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota on Aug. 1, Minnesota president Eric Kaler said the university is working with the Vikings and making "every effort" to not have "Redskins" used on game day in promotional and game day materials, calling the nickname "offensive."
Kaler's letter was in response to a similar appeal from McCollum in a June letter to Vikings president Zygi Wilf, on which Kaler was copied. McCollum argued that the use of the nickname violates the university's Board of Regents’ policy on affirmative action, diversity and equal opportunity.
“The time for debate has ended — the name of the Washington franchise is clearly an offensive racial slur,” McCollum wrote to Wilf. “I urge you, as an NFL team owner, to not remain silent on this matter any longer.”
The University of Minnesota is hosting all Vikings home games this season due to upcoming construction for the NFL team's new stadium.
A Redskins representative said the team disagrees with Minnesota's effort, and that the franchise has met many Native Americans from Minnesota who support the nickname, according to the report. A Vikings representative said no plan for Nov. 2 has been set, and the team will continue to meet with school officials between now and the game date.
Washington has faced increased criticism over the past year for the "Redskins" nickname, with many calling for it to be banned. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has remained steadfast in his refusal to consider changing the name, including in comments Monday.
An organization called the American Indian Movement protested the team's name during festivities for Super Bowl XXVI, a game that was hosted in Minnesota and involved Washington. The Redskins beat the Bills in the game to win the franchise's third Super Bowl.
- Ben Estes