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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 20th 2024

AIM & ACLU ask for equality and respect

Alley Collaborated News

The Minnesota NFL football team opposes the Washington D.C. football team on November 7th..

The American Indian Movement says the term “Redskins” should not be used in connection with that game being played in a public facility, said movement national director Clyde Bellecourt. “We”'re saying that the ”˜r”' word is no different than the ”˜n”' word,” he said. Seeing derogatory logos and hearing vicious taunts from fans “has a tremendous psychological effect on our children,” Bellecourt said. “Would they have a mascot here called Little Black Sambo? Oh, no.”

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune wrote in 1992 “The Washington Redskins are the only big time professional sports team whose name is an unequivocal racial slur. After all, how would we react if the team was named the Washington Negroes? Or the Washington Jews? It is more than just a racial reference, it is a racial epithet.”

The Metropolitan Sports Authority has heard concerns about the team”'s name in the past, and the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement calling for the Vikings, the media and the authority to refer to the team as “Washington.”

Jay Lindgren, attorney for MSFA, said that doing so would “arguably” qualify as a restraint on free speech. “You would be engaging, I think, in what arguably is an unconstitutional prior restraint on the use of free speech,” Lindgren said.

The Vikings are doing their best to steer clear of the issue and let he NFL handle any formal declarations.

“We understand the magnitude of this issue, and we respect and are sensitive to the concerns that they have raised,” Vikings spokesperson Lester Bagley said.

Native American leaders say they expect “hundreds” of protesters in front of the game when the Redskins and Vikings play.

“The name, logo and mascot are racist imagery that does not honor anyone, but instead perpetuate stereotypes that are particularly hurtful and offensive given the history of forced assimilation and brutality that Native Americans were forced to endure in Minnesota and throughout the country,” ACLU-MN executive director Charles Samuelson said in a statement.

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