Leaders at Minnesota Vikings game say dump that R-word now
ICT editorial team
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and other Native American leaders will protest outside of U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of Thursday night's Minnesota Vikings game to urge the visiting Washington team to retire the Redskins team name and mascot.
Flanagan wrote an op-ed today in the Huffington Post where she said as her 6-year girl is proud of her identity. "I saw the confusion as she took in this distorted caricature of her people. Deep red complexion. Long, black hair. Big caveman-like nose. And a feather, like the one we use in prayer, attached to the logo," she wrote. Her daughter responded: "Mommy, that's not okay. We are people, not mascots."
Washington owner Dan Snyder has said the team name shows honor and respect.
However as Flanagan wrote: "Tell that to my 6-year-old daughter."
A number of tribal leaders planned to participate in the protest.
"It's time that we correct the narrative," said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Secretary/Treasurer Rebecca Crooks-Stratton. "Native Americans are here today with our own governments, cultures and modern stories. The Washington team's name is a painful embodiment of the lack of respect for and understanding of Native Americans."
"Five years ago, we gathered outside TCF Bank Stadium to encourage the retirement of the Washington NFL team name," said Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin. "Since then, nothing has changed - the Washington NFL team still unapologetically uses the worst Native American racial epithet."
She'll be joined by state Reps. Mary Kunesh-Podein and Jamie Becker-Finn, who are also Native Americans, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, and tribal government leaders.
David Glass, president of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media and a member of the White Earth Nation, says the name is a very offensive racial slur.
The protesters plan to march from Peavy Field Park, then hold a rally at The Commons in front of the stadium at 5 p.m.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.