By Gina Miranda |Staff Writer|
Bruce Allen, the newly appointed President of The Washington Redskins, responded in a letter to senate Majority leader Harry Reid stating that the team logo is not racist and instead shows “reverence” toward Native Americans.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has opted for tradition and refuses to change the team logo.
On behalf of the Washington fran- chise, Allen commented on the racial al- legations.
“Our use of ‘Redskins’ as the name of our football team for more than 80 years has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and tra- ditions of Native Americans,” wrote Allen.
Allen’s letter references history noting that Native American leaders designed the logo and that the logo instead represents “Native American Solidarity.”
In their letters, Senate leaders were hopeful that immediate changes would be made and were not shy in mentioning the NBA’s racial controversy with Don- ald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The letters written to NFL commis- sioner Rodger Goodell made a strong argument stating “We urge you the Na- tional Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.”
According to the Associated Press, the
letters refrained from using the team name “Redskins” when expressing their urgency for the name change.
Allen and Snyder’s comments regard- ing “history” and “reverence” as the team’s logo were also heavily backed by Brian McCarthy, a spokesman on behalf of the NFL.
McCarthy in a written response to the Senate also stated that “the intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong positive and respectful image,” of Native Americans.
Native American organizations across the country have joined together in order to appeal the decisions made by the NFL. Among those organizations are Oneida In- dian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians.
Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter can be heard in a series of viral videos representing the organization in a push for change.
Halbritter in a press release stated, “This word is widely recognized through- out the globe as racial slur. If the NFL wants to be a global brand that contributes to the positive image of the United States across the world, it needs to stop promot- ing this slur and change the name.”
In the past, the Oneida Nation has also supported the NBA’s efforts to do away with bigotry and racist slurs in professional sports.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Oneida Indian Na- tion (OIN) continue to join their efforts to force a name change of the Washington
Together they currently fund a website
called Changethemascot.org in support of positive change for their Native peoples.
In response to Allen, Snyder, and McCarthy the aforementioned organizations have publicly claimed their intent to move passed the NFL organization with support
from NFL players.
Letters, tweets, and public announce-
ments are expected to make their way to players and other representatives of the or- ganization.
The NCAI and the OIN are hopeful that players will rally behind their efforts and force Washington to change their logo.