Univ. of Minnesota making 'every effort' to ban Redskins name - KMSP-TV

Univ. of Minnesota making 'every effort' to ban Redskins name at stadium

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TCF Bank Stadium is ready for Vikings football. Photo by Maury Glover / Fox 9 News TCF Bank Stadium is ready for Vikings football. Photo by Maury Glover / Fox 9 News
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The University of Minnesota and Minnesota Vikings are working to eliminate the use of the Washington Redskins name when the team visits TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 2. The NFL requires the Vikings to participate in the marketing of their opponents, but the team has said it's an issue they take seriously. The debate took the national stage last season when the Vikings hosted the Redskins for Thursday Night Football.

'Time for debate has ended'

In a June letter to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, U.S. Rep Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) said allowing the “racist” Redskins name on the U of M campus would breach the Board of Regents' policy on equity and diversity. The policy states the university shall “establish and nurture an environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors that actively acknowledges and values equity and diversity and is free from racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and other forms of prejudice, intolerance, or harassment.”

“The time for debate has ended,” McCollum wrote in her letter to Wilf. “The name of the Washington franchise is clearly an offensive racial slur. I urge you, as an NFL team owner, to not remain silent on this matter any longer.”

U of M making 'every effort' to ban Redskins name

In a response to Rep. McCollum, University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said the school is “working with the Vikings to make every effort to eliminate the use of Washington's team name in promotional and game date materials and public address announcements.”

The university has no jurisdiction over TCF Bank Stadium on NFL game days, according to the facility use agreement.

“Nevertheless, we recognize the challenges associated with having Washington compete at TCF Bank Stadium and are in discussions with the Vikings about how to mitigate our collective concerns,” Kaler wrote.

Redskins: We're using name 'correctly and honorably'

Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie told the Washington Post the team doesn't agree with a nickname ban for their game in Minnesota, adding they have the support of many Native Americans in the state.

“We have met many native Americans from Minnesota who agree with our position and feel we are using the term correctly and honorably,” Wyllie told the Post.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community donated $10 million toward the construction of TCF Bank Stadium, covering the cost of the stadium's public plaza, which recognizes Minnesota's tribal nations. The tribe has not taken a public stance on the use of the Redskins name.

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