The drumbeat of protests calling for the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their nickname because it is derogatory to Native Americans continued Sunday. Meanwhile, a report that a new name is under consideration further fueled the debate, despite denials by the team.
Two Native American organizations, American Indian Movement Colorado and Idle No More Denver, rallied hundreds of people in Denver prior to the kickoff of Sunday’s game between the Broncos and Washington. They were hoping to convince team owner Dan Snyder to change his position and rename the team.
Tessa McLean of the Ojibwe Nation said Redskins “is a term that was created for proof of Indian kill,” referencing the early-American sale of Indian scalps.”
The movement is gaining momentum.
Even President Barack Obama has said that were he the owner of the team, he would consider changing the name, and this week officials of the NFL will meet with the Oneida Indian Nation in New York City to discuss the subject.
Proponents of the change were cheered to hear last week that a neighbor of team owner Daniel Snyder, Aris Mardirossian, had registered the name “Washington Bravehearts” for a patent license for “entertainment in the nature of football games,” according to TMZ.
And CBS Sports confirmed that Mardirossian also registered the domain WashingtonBravehearts.com.
But team spokesman Tony Wyllie told TheWrap on Friday that there was nothing to the report, and that Snyder and Mardirossian do not even know each other.
Still, you have to wonder what Mel Gibson thinks of the idea.