PHOENIX — For years advocates for the Native American tribes have been trying to force the Washington Redskins to drop their name, saying the term “Redskins” is a racial slur towards Native Americans.
The NFL franchise with pressure from advertisers announced Monday a decision to retire the name and logo.
“Redskins, if you look at the definition. I’m not going to say it on film because it’ll anger me. But if you look at the term 'redskin,' what does it really mean? That’s the part I think many people find offensive,” said Navajo Nation President Johnathan Nez.
Nez says dropping the name will be good for future generations.
“We don’t want our children to see or to hear terms like 'the redskins' being used to downgrade or put down Native Americans,” said Nez.
The current climate with protests and equal rights primarily with the Black Lives Matter movement has started to push corporate America to refocus their role in racial justice.
Nez says it was everyday people who pushed corporate companies to force the team to remove the name. Corporate America and hopefully lawmakers are starting to listen to the people.
“There needs to be a better more positive relationship with the first citizens of this country.”
After 87 years the team name will be no more and Nez sees it as a win for everyone.
“We’re all in this together. We’re all equal and we all need each other.”
The new name of the NFL franchise is unknown at this time but Nez wouldn’t mind a name that honors Native Americans like the code talkers.
He hopes more attention could come from corporations and lawmakers to help the Navajo nation deal with COVID-19 as wells as help tribes around the country get on equal footing with the rest of the country.