May 28, 2014

Letter sent to NFL players re "Redskins"

Redskins name campaign targets every NFL playerGroups who oppose the Washington Redskins name say they are taking their case directly to the players.

A letter signed by dozens of Native American, civil rights and religious organizations will be sent to every NFL player on Wednesday asking each to add his "powerful voice to the hundreds who are already speaking out."

The letter is spearheaded by the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians, two groups who have been at the forefront of the campaign to change the team's name.

The letter is being mailed to teams, and it is also being sent to players via Twitter. It notes that the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman recently expressed concerns about the Redskins name.
Groups sending letter to every NFL player over Redskins name

By Erik BradyThe National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation are taking the fight over the team name of the Washington NFL club into the league's locker rooms.

NCAI and the Oneidas announced today that they are sending a letter to every NFL player asking them to speak out against the Washington team name, which 50 U.S. Senators called a racial slur in a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week.

The announcement said that 77 other groups, including civil rights and religious organizations, have cosigned the letter. The letter will also be circulated to NFL players by Twitter with the hashtag #rightsideofhistory.

"It is extremely heartening to see the widespread support from dozens of diverse organizations and thought leaders all coming together to demand a change for the team that represents our nation's capital," NCAI Executive Director Jackie Pata said in a statement. "Today our eyes turn to the NFL players. By voicing statements of support and calling for change, they have an historic opportunity to oppose racism and end the league's endorsement of this denigrating term."
After Owner Dan Snyder Controversy, Twitter Campaign, Washington Redskins Change Name Become Americans?

By Drew JacobsThe National Congress of American Indians as well as the Oneida Indian Nation appealed directly to over 2,700 NFL players this week urging them to speak out against the Washington Redskins' offensive name. Through written letters and Twitter messages the groups are hoping to rally influential players to their cause (via Washington Post):

"'Because you are in the NFL, you command a level of respect and credibility when speaking out about the league's behavior,' the letter said. 'Indeed, players are the most publicly identifiable representatives of the league, which means your support is critical to ending this injustice.'

"Goodell and Washington team officials have consistently said they don't believe the name is disparaging to Native Americans and have cited polls that show that the majority of people share that sentiment."

How condescending and arrogant of Goodell and Snyder to tell Native Americans what they should and shouldn't find offensive. No one can make that determination other than Native Americans themselves. And many of them have explicitly stated that the term 'redskin' is offensive.
ADL Joins Letter to NFL Players Urging Opposition to Redskins Name

Fond du Lac Band joins letter to NFL players opposing Redskins name

Snyder should listen

Man In The Mirror: Why Daniel Snyder Could End Up Sharing Donald Sterling's Sorry Legacy If He Doesn't Act Fast

By Marc EdelmanThey both have strong entrepreneurial spirit, unbridled financial success, and even the same initials.

But at the end of the day, NBA owner Donald Sterling will likely be remembered as the racist Clippers owner who chastised a female companion for bringing African-Americans to his games.

And if Daniel Snyder does not act fast, society may remember his legacy in a similar vein—as the racist NFL owner who refused to change his football team name, even after 50 U.S. Senators pleaded with him to do so.
And:[E]ven if Snyder’s claims contain some historic accuracy, Snyder is clearly losing the battle of public opinion.

The mere fact that Congress has broached the use of Daniel Snyder’s team name just days after Donald Sterling’s attempted ouster by the NBA sends a clear message to the NFL that racially insensitive speech will not be tolerated in American sports—irrespective of whether the speech is uttered to a female companion on audiotape, or on team helmets and jerseys that the league sells to its fans for profit.

Congress’s letter may also seal Snyder’s fate as a human being, if Snyder does not move quickly to correct that.

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