When the Washington Redskins arrive in Minneapolis this weekend, the team and its owner, Dan Snyder, will have to wade through a tide of protesters to get to TCF Bank stadium. Defeating the Minnesota Vikings won’t be the team’s only challenge.
ICTMN reported earlier this week that several Native American groups, including American Indian Movement (AIM), Idle No More and the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media will rally against the team’s racially offensive name to alert and urge Snyder that he is on the wrong side of history in his vow to never change it.
“I think this demonstration is going to show the best of Minnesota,” U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, one of the rally speakers who has been a key opponent of the nickname, told The Star Tribune.
“Never in my history in dealing with issues like this have we had [this level] of solidarity of civil rights and human rights organizations and all the tribal people,” said Clyde Bellecourt, AIM co-founder, about Sunday’s protest.
Ahead of the game on November 2, Bellecourt and David Glass, president of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports, met with the Minneapolis and University of Minnesota Police Departments to discuss the details of what everyone hopes will be a peaceful protest, The Tribune said.
Long-time sports writer Dave Zirin told The Tribune that Minnesota has been the heart of the civil rights movements for Native Americans.
“You have the reservations and the tribal councils,” Zirin said. “It is ground zero for the Native American civil rights movement and the American Indian Movement going back to the 1960s.”
Protesters will hear from Native activists and prominent guests, including Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth; Ray Halbritter, Nation Representative, Oneida Indian Nation and ICTMN publisher; Betsy Hodges, Mayor, Minneapolis; Simon Moya Smith, ICTMN; Amanda Blackhorse, plaintiff in the Redskins trademark and patent lawsuit; Dick Gregory, activist and writer; Henry Boucha, National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, and many more.