Sports

Seneca Nation citizen maintains five-year protest against NFL team's racist legacy





A citizen of the Seneca Nation has been leading a five-year protest against the Washington NFL team's racist legacy.

Stephen Rivera started his one-man stand after he moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 2012, The Washington Post reported. That's also when the team moved its training camp to the state's capital city and that's where he's been staging his protest.

“People need to know there’s another view, another voice,” Rivera told the paper. “If you don’t do that, it’s like condoning it. That’s when people start to take that it is okay.”

The NFL franchise, despite boasting a "Washington" name, has strong connections to Virginia, where racial violence over the weekend turned deadly. The original owner -- who came up with the racist name -- was from the state and the team's headquarters are in the state, along with the training camp.

George Preston Marshall in fact kept his team racially segregated longer than any other NFL owner. The John F. Kennedy administration finally forced him to accept African-American players by threatening to bar him from using a football stadium that was built on federal land, .

White supremacists, like the ones behind the
Unite the Right event that led to racial violence over the weekend, urged Marshall not to integrate the team. A photo shared on Twitter by Joe D. Horse Capture, a citizen of the Fort Belknap Indian Community who is the director of American Indian Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society, shows males in neo-Nazi gear sporting signs reading "Keep Redskins White!"

The photo was taken for Sports Illustrated in October 1961, according to Mother Jones. Marshall reluctantly accepted African-American players in time for the 1962 season.

Read More on the Story:
For five years, a Richmond local has made a one-man stand against the Redskins’ name (The Washington Post August 14, 2017)

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