Hundreds of protesters took to the Minneapolis streets Thursday before the start of the NFL game between the Vikings and Redskins at U.S. Bank Stadium to blast the name and mascot of the Washington-based football team.
The demonstrators spoke out against the Washington franchise, decrying its Native American-derived moniker as racist and degrading. The protesters chanted: “We are not your mascot!”
Protesters march from Peavey Park to US Bank Stadium to protest the use of "Redskins" in the name of the Washington NFL football team, and the names of some other pro sports teams, before Washington’s game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Star Tribune via AP)
The mascot “dehumanizes our people,” Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan told the crowd. Flanagan is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.
“Let me tell you, I wouldn’t talk to [Redskins ownwer] Dan Snyder — I would make him talk to my 6 1/2-year-old little girl, who would tell him how inappropriate and racist it is to have this Washington team name,” she said. “This racial slur that he profits off of is not right.”
Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Min., also denounced the nickname.
“It’s long past to change the name,” she said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Protesters, including Marcy Hart of the White Earth Nation, march from Peavey Park to US Bank Stadium to protest the use of "Redskins" in the name of the Washington NFL football team, before Washington’s game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. Protesters also had signs about the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. (Star Tribune via AP)
The Redskins name has been a subject of controversy for several years. Snyder has defended the nickname, saying it shows honor and respect to Native Americans.
David Glass, the president of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, said the name is an offensive racial slur. Glass is a member of the White Earth Nation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.