Washington, NFL, U.S. discussed on WTOP 24 Hour News


Washington's NFL franchise has a brand new name the Washington commanders The name change did not come easy though since the 1960s actually activists have called for sports teams across the U.S. to stop using Native Americans as mascots Crystal echo hawk is founder and CEO of illuminative a network of activists and tribal leaders who combat racist team mascots joining the conversation this morning I think really signals the start of a new chapter I think down to the very last minute I think on some level a lot of native peoples were holding their breath to really make sure that whatever the team chose was not going to in any way be related to native peoples because there's been so much distrust of the team based on its treatment of Native Americans over the last 90 years So I think we all kind of on some level We've decided relief to finally hear the name change And I think this new chapter needs to not only be about the new name but it needs to be about how the team is also going to repair the harm that it perpetuated by having a dictionary defined racial slur in the harm it caused against the Americans for such a long time You have been asking the franchise to apologize for bearing its old name for more than 85 years He never got that apology Is the new name too late No I think it's never too late to apologize right And I had a conversation last week with the team which I made it very clear that I felt that Native Americans were determining of a formal public apology They've kind of signaled that in private I think to a lot of different folks across any country but to see that public acknowledgment and apology And I think also activists made American activists like Suzanne harjo and Amanda black horse and so many others were really viciously targeted by the team and by the fans for a very long time and really harassed And so I think those activists also are deserving an apology and to be really celebrated for their monumental work This is a win against racism This is a civil rights victory This is a win against racism And I think the team can really step into this new leadership opportunity by first apologizing.

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