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Indian National Finals Rodeo won't take money from NFL team

World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Jess Colliflower at the 2013 Indian National Finals Rodeo. Photo from Facebook

The Indian National Finals Rodeo will no longer accept money from the Original Americans Foundation, the unusual charity set up by the Washington NFL team.

The rodeo willingly took $200,000 last year as part of a partnership with the Original Americans Foundation. The team's logo appeared on the rodeo's website and at the arena in Nevada where the annual rodeo is held. T-shirts and footballs with the logo were also given out at the event.

But after "much soul searching," the rodeo decided not to continue the arrangement. “That is because, as you know, the resources you are offering are not truly philanthropic — they come with the expectation that we will support the racial slur that continues to promote your associated professional football team’s name," Bo Vocu, the vice president of the INFR, said in a letter to the Original Americans Foundation that was quoted by various news sources.

The rodeo won't go empty handed as the November event approaches, though. The Oneida Nation of New York and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, whose leaders have spoken out against the team's racist mascot, have agreed to support the INFR, USA Today reported.

The Washington NFL team announced the Original Americans Foundation in early 2014 and some tribes and Indian organizations have accepted the group's funds. But many others have rejected the money, calling it an attempt to stifle criticism of the team's racist mascot.

The foundation is unusual in that it has not announced a governing board or outlined its grant policies, nor has it disclosed the source of its funds.

Get the Story:
Native American rodeo cuts ties with Redskins organization over name (USA Today 9/10)
Sen. Harry Reid: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder ‘tried to bribe’ some of Nevada’s Native Americans (The Washington Post 9/9)
Native American Rodeo Breaks With DC Football Team's Charity Over ‘Racial Slur’ Name (The Huffington Post 9/4)

An Opinion:
Tara Houska: Indian Rodeo Will Not Accept Money From Washington Football Team This Year (Indian Country Today 9/8)

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