Objections to Redskins name, but Vikings obligated to promote it - KMSP-TV

Objections to Redskins name, but Vikings obligated to promote it

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The American Indian Movement is asking the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to avoid using the Redskins name at the Metrodome when the Vikings host Washington for a nationally-televised game on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The group is asking that the Redskins name not be spoken or displayed at the game, calling it degrading to the first American citizens.

Vikings vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley said the team has "an obligation to the NFL" to follow through with the marketing of NFL teams, including opponents. Bagley added that the Redskins name debate is still "an important issue."

The Nov. 7 Vikings vs Redskins game is being televised on NFL Network. It will air on My29 locally.

American Indian Movement founder Clyde Bellecourt expects hundreds of people to join a protest outside the stadium on Nov. 7. The MSFA will accommodate the protesters, and even provide a speaker system.

A letter to season ticket holders earlier this month from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder suggested that no name change is being considered.

"I've listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name," Snyder wrote. "But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too."

A response from the Oneida Indian Nation said Snyder omitted the fact that the original team owner was "was an avowed segregationist."

"That suggests the team's name was deliberately designed to denigrate people of color. Unfortunately that ploy was successful," Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter said. "The marketing of this racial slur has had - and continues to have - very serious cultural, political, and public health consequences for my people and Native Americans everywhere. It is clear from Mr. Snyder's letter that he does not understand those consequences."

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