WASHINGTON — A group campaigning for the Washington Redskins to change their name is sending a letter to broadcasters requesting that Redskins not be uttered on the public airwaves.
The letter was released today and is signed by more than 100 Native American, religious and civil rights organizations. It’s being sent by the Change the Mascot movement headed by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York.
The letter describes “redskin” as a “government-defined racial slur” that has been used to disparage American Indians “throughout history.”
Several prominent broadcasters, including Bob Costas and Phil Simms, have either spoken out against the name or say they don’t intend to use it.
Also today, the New York Daily News announced it will no longer refer to the team as the “Redskins” on its sports pages. The paper also said it will stop using the team’s Indian-head logo.
“Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes,” the paper said. “No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.”
Redskins owner Dan Snyder says he’ll never change the name. He calls it a source of pride for Native Americans.