Mayor Muriel Bowser, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Rep. Raúl M.Grijalva, the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee with jurisdiction over the federal land where the old R-skins stadium sits, have said the name must change if Mr. Daniel Snyder, the owner of the team, wants to bring his team back to DC.
Investors asked Fed Ex, Pepsi, and Nike to end their business relationships with the team unless the name is changed. Fed Ex responded by asking Mr. Snyder to change the name.
The shoe could drop any day now on a racial slur and negative stereotype. Contrary to Mr. Snyder’s assertions, the name does not honor. It demeans and belittles. Native Americans want it changed.
None of this would have happened if it was not for the people in the streets the last few weeks and Native American advocates over the decades. Frederick Douglass had it right: power does not concede anything without a demand. The elected officials and corporations would not have acted if it had not been for the noise from below. If it had not been for Native American advocates like Suzan Harjo and Amanda Blackhorse. If it had not been for the Supreme Court cases and the countless demonstrations before R-skins games at home and away.
Rebrand Washington Football is pleased to have been a part of this, standing on street corners and at Metro stations asking people to sign petitions. And then delivering petitions annually to Mr. Snyder's headquarters each December as a holiday gift. We have been honored to stand with Native American allies and others who have demanded true honor and respect for Native Americans.
By time the sun rises, it could be a new day. We hope Mr. Snyder has a change of heart and understands that a name of a football team cannot be coined after a people. We ask him to engage the community in finding a true name that unites, not divides us. In the meantime, the team can play under the name Washington.