Various Native American groups are banding together to protest games involving Washington's NFL team, starting with this weekend's game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale.
The groups are imploring the team to adopt a new name "that does not disparage Native Americans."
Amanda Blackhorse, a member of the Navajo Nation and leader of a group called Arizona to Rally Against Native Mascots is organizing the protest.
Blackhorse is the lead plaintiff in the trademark case against the Washington team, and also led a protest against the mascot of the Cleveland Indians when the team played at Chase Field earlier this year.
"For over 4 decades Native people urged for a name change, many years before I was born," Blackhorse says in a press release. "This is not a recent issue and with the recent increased momentum, a name change is imminent. This is no longer just about a mascot this is about regaining our respect and place in this country as well as the humanization of Indigenous people."
Another group organizing the protests is Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. Earlier this year, that group blasted the Washington NFL organization after hearing from an Arizona tribe that claimed the Washington team offered a blank check to build a skate park in their community, which the tribe saw as a "bribe."
Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst, a committee member of the Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry group, issued the following statement on the upcoming protests:
"Our intent is to show that Native American communities do not want the Washington NFL Team's name and mascot to 'honor' us. It has never honored us and continues to stigmatize Native Americans. Mascots that depict a stereotyped Native American continue to perpetuate the fantasy Indian that allows people who view it to continue to ignore the voice of real Native Americans who live in this country. My legacy as a Hunkpapa Sioux and Diné woman can thrive without the need to be 'honored' by the Washington NFL team's name and mascot. If Dan Snyder wants to honor me he can change the team's name and mascot."
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These Native American groups are partnering with similar organizations across the country to continue the protests at more Washington games, including rallies when the Dallas Cowboys host Washington on October 27, then at Washington's game at the Minnesota Vikings on November 2, followed by Washington at the San Francisco 49ers on November 23, and finally, at Washington's home stadium in Landover, Maryland, before another game against the Cowboys.
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