The co-chairwoman of the House Native American Caucus is praising Washington, D.C.’s, NFL team for its decision to change its name and logo.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) released a statement on Monday after the team announced it would scrap its Redksins name and logo.
“It shouldn’t take a huge social movement or pressure from corporate sponsors to do the right thing, but I’m glad it’s happening,” Haaland said.
She continued, “It’s wrong for a national football team to perpetuate racist attitudes, but for decades the Washington NFL team refused to recognize the role their name plays in projecting racist stereotypes about Native Americans even after multiple protests and requests.”
“With decades of work by organizers and activists, public outcry, a moment reckoning with our country’s racist past, and corporate sponsors willing to put more pressure on the Washington NFL team’s management to do the right thing, we made this change together. A change that should have been made a long time ago.”
The NFL team was facing pressure from Native American rights groups to change its name, which activists said was racist.
Despite an initial reluctance to change the name, Dan Snyder, the team owner, relented and announced the team would review the name on July 3.
The decision to change the name came after FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the team’s stadium, said it would remove its signage from the stadium if the team did not change the name.
On Monday, the team said in a statement, “Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review.”
However, it did not say what the new name will be.
“Now, young Native kids won’t be faced with the racist attitudes and gestures that come from having mascots that perpetuate stereotypes and silence indigenous voices and culture,” Haaland said.
She added, “A whole new generation of fans of Washington NFL football will have a team name and mascot they can be proud of.”
When asked if the president had commented on the name change, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany pointed to Trump’s previous comments and said Trump believes that Native Americans would be “very angry” if the team changed its name.