Opinion | Sports

DaShanne Stokes: Racist Americans cling to football mascot

DaShanne Stokes discusses the controversy behind the Washington professional football team's racist mascot:
No issue better illustrates the lengths to which racist Americans will go to hold tight to the reins of power and ignorance than a statement recently issued by the Washington Red*kins.

In response to a call for the team to change its controversial name, made by Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Tom Cole, the team issued a scathing response on February 10th this year citing the continued problems many Native Americans face with high unemployment, inadequate education, and health problems as a reason to, in fact, ignore the issue and keep the name.

The team wrote, “Senator Cantwell should be aware that there are many challenges facing Native Americans, including an extremely cold winter with high energy bills, high unemployment, life threatening health problems, inadequate education and many other issues more pressing than the name of a football team which has received strong support from Native Americans… Surely, with all the issues Congress is supposed to work on such as the economy, jobs, war and health care, the Senator must have more important things to do…”


It is ironic that the team would attempt to deflect attention from their own contribution to the oppression of indigenous peoples by posturing as an organization concerned with the issues confronting Indian country.

Get the Story:
DaShanne Stokes: Time to Stop Playing Cowboys and Indians (Indian Country Today 3/16)

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Churches propose boycott of Washington team for racist mascot (03/03)

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