Loading...

Norton Calls On NFL Commissioner To Force Redskins Name Change

June 23, 2020 by Gaspard Le Dem
Washington Redskins warming up before their regular season Week 17 game against the Dallas Cowboys. (Photo courtesy The Washington Redskins media page)

WASHINGTON — D.C.’s non voting delegate Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Monday renewed her call for the National Football League to scrap the name of D.C.’s football franchise, the Washington Redskins, which has long been criticized for being racist.

“I again call on Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington football team and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to recognize this historic moment and change the offensive, racist name of the team,” said Norton in a statement.

Her plea comes amid nationwide protests against systemic racism and just days after a Washington Post editorial urged the NFL to step in to change the moniker if Dan Snyder, the team’s owner, was unwilling to do so himself.

For years, Snyder has had his sights on moving the team back to the District from its current home at FedEx Stadium, in neighboring Prince George’s County, Maryland. His ambitions have been met with fierce opposition from local politicians who say the team has no business playing on District turf until it finds a new name. 

“The name has cost Snyder far more than it could possibly be worth,” said Norton on Monday. “The racist name stands in the way of the team playing in the nation’s capital at the RFK Stadium site, Snyder’s preferred venue.”

Snyder’s lease at FedEx Stadium is set to expire in 2027, but he has balked at the idea of a name switch, forcefully denying that the team’s trademark, which has been in use since 1933, is offensive to Native Americans. “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER––you can use caps,” Snyder told USA Today in 2013.

The Redskins moved to FedEx Field in 1996 after playing for more than three decades at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, about 2 miles East of the U.S. Capitol on the Anacostia River.

The crumbling stadium, which hasn’t been used for more than a decade, is now slated for demolition in 2021. Norton has proposed a bill to allow the District to purchase the site, which is on federal land, from the U.S. Department of the Interior at market price.

But D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in 2018 broke ground on a $489 million project to build a new sports venue on the stadium’s sprawling parking lot, hinting that she hopes to use the new facility to bring the Redskins back to the District.

At the time, several progressive members of the D.C. Council rebuked Bowser for not pushing the team to update its name.

“I am disappointed to hear that Mayor Bowser is trying to bring the NFL’s Washington football team back into the District of Columbia,” said D.C. Councilmember David Grosso in 2018. “Though I have been a lifetime fan of the team, I continue to be frustrated and offended by the team’s name and oppose any efforts for them to play in our city.”

Grosso also criticized the new construction for being too costly. “NFL stadiums are a waste of land and public resources,” he said. “A giant stadium that is used less than a dozen days per year takes up space that could be used for housing, parks, or other public or commercial facilities.”

The term “redskin” dates back several centuries to the colonial era of the United States when it was used as a derogatory term to refer to indigenous North American populations. Historians say its first undisputed use was in 1769.

As an alternative to the racist name, Grosso has proposed using “Redtails” in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of World War II pilots that became the first African American aviators to serve in the U.S. Army.

Meanwhile, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has reportedly been mulling the possibility of building a new stadium in northern Virginia, at a site close to the District.

Former Redskins team president Bruce Allen told local news outlet WMAL in 2019 that the team hoped to announce a final decision on its new home “within a year.”

A+
a-

Sports

December 2, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Sports Leaders Launch Campaigns Aimed at Improving the Wellness of Athletes

This week a new campaign called Teammates for Mental Health was launched by the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and... Read More

This week a new campaign called Teammates for Mental Health was launched by the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 to promote better mental health of athletes. Over the past four months, 10 working groups consisting of athletic coaches and school officials held conferences to... Read More

July 14, 2021
by TWN Staff
UK Study Finds Athletes More Likely to Have Irregular Heartbeats

Athletes are two and half times more likely than non-athletes to experience irregular heartbeats, a new analysis by the British... Read More

Athletes are two and half times more likely than non-athletes to experience irregular heartbeats, a new analysis by the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds. For the analysis, researchers from Canterbury Christ Church University analyzed 13 studies published between 1990 and December 2020 which examined the... Read More

July 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Washington Football Team Hit By $10 Million Harassment Fine

WASHINGTON -- The National Football League announced a $10 million fine against the Washington Football Team Thursday after finding sexual... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The National Football League announced a $10 million fine against the Washington Football Team Thursday after finding sexual harassment and bullying of employees to be a persistent problem. Much of the blame in the NFL’s report fell on team owner Dan Snyder, who then... Read More

June 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Hands Win to Student Athletes

In a unanimous decision Monday, the justices held the NCAA can’t enforce rules limiting education-related benefits — like computers and... Read More

In a unanimous decision Monday, the justices held the NCAA can’t enforce rules limiting education-related benefits — like computers and paid internships — that colleges offer to student athletes. The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries. Instead, the ruling will help determine whether... Read More

May 24, 2021
by Reece Nations
Murphy, Davis Want K-12 Tax Deduction Made Available to Athletic Coaches, Administrators

WASHINGTON — Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., are sponsoring legislation that would expand a federal tax deduction... Read More

WASHINGTON — Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., are sponsoring legislation that would expand a federal tax deduction so K-12 athletic coaches and administrators are eligible for reimbursement should they pay out of pocket to buy equipment and supplies. The bill, authored by Murphy... Read More

April 2, 2021
by TWN Staff
Major League Baseball Pulls All-Star Game From Georgia

Major League Baseball said Friday it would move its annual All-Star Game out of Georgia, citing the state government’s recent... Read More

Major League Baseball said Friday it would move its annual All-Star Game out of Georgia, citing the state government’s recent decision to put in place more restrictive measures on who is able to vote in coming elections. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version