Updated: November 8, 2013

By Gary Norris Gray- BASN Staff Reporter

The Month of November is Native American Heritage Month and many Native Americans are finding it hard to celebrate it this year with the growing controversies of two American professional sports teams.

Last week the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed a meeting with the Oneida Indian Nation. The Washington Football Club’s majority owner Dan Snyder was also supposed to attend this meeting to discuss the meaning of the name of the professional football club in the Washington D.C. area.

The Oneida Tribe members from the northern part of the state of New York have been the most vocal about this name. These men and women wanted to express their anguish at the owner and to the league. The Oneida Tribe also wanted to explain why the R-Word is a racist term.rskinsforked

Mr. Roger Goodell did not attend this meeting, instead he send three NFL senior league executive assistants Jeff Pash, Adolpho Birch, and Paul Hicks to take his place. While the Washington Football Club owner, Dan Snyder, did even less by sending a two page letter to be read at the meeting. These actions show the American Native citizens that the National Football League and Dan Snyder are just trying to weather the resent storm over the name. It also states that these two men do not respect the Native American Nation. Last it’s another statement of WHITE MALE PRIVILAGE in the United States.

The NFL, Roger Goodell, and Dan Snyder really are not interested in what the tribe had to say. Their minds were already made up.

In 1992 then Commissioner Paul Tagliabue set the tone meeting with many Native American tribes by not putting pressure on the Kansas City Chiefs and The Washington Football Club to change their name. It was a missed opportunity, and Mr. Goodell has followed Tagliabue’s lead. There was another previous opportunity in the 1970’s when over 45 colleges and universities changed their names. The Washington Football Club stood firm then just as they are standing firm today.

Commissioner Goodell and Dan Snyder a day after the meeting with the Oneida Tribe had their own confab in the NFL offices in New York City, a closed meeting to discuss the issue. These two men had no intentions to meet with the Oneida Tribe and their leaders.

rskinszThe third most profitable franchise in the NFL with a gross profit of 9.2 million dollars worldwide will not change its name. ESPN, The National Football League, and Commissioner Roger Goodell will continue to assist Dan Snyder in his racist crusade against Native Americans.

danielThe NFL and Dan Snyder are putting profits ahead of human dignity. Both organizations are putting profits ahead of human respect and understanding. The WASHINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB BRAND is more important.

The Cleveland Indian Baseball Club and the Washington Football Club are the last two holdouts in changing their stance. As an African American/ Native America it would be wonderful to see both of these teams retire their mascot and name.

The term REDSKIN:

A disparaging term for First Nation/ Native American Indians, an informal name, now considered offensive so called by particular tribe, the now extinct Beothuks of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Canada, who painted themselves with red ochre.

This is the third definition of the term REDSKIN The Gray Leopard Cove have come across the past 40 years.

This name has created 80 years of despair and sorrow for a group of people that have limited political and economic power. That is why the Washington Football Club and the Cleveland Indian Baseball Club continue their stance. Many fans of the team in Landover, Maryland will bleed Burgundy and Gold no-matter what the name.

yesThe Oneida Tribe commissioned a 30 page report on the effect the name had on fellow members. The study concluded that

• The Redskin name contribute to “prejudice and discrimination” against Native Americans by using the team name and mascot, which would be considered harassment or bullying in a workplace or if used interpersonally.

• Tests have shown that the presence of Native American mascots results directly in lower self-esteem and lower mood within this population, as well as increased negative associations of Native Americans among non-Native American groups. Importantly, these effects occur regardless of whether the Native American mascot is considered “offensive.”

• Racial slurs, racial harassment and racial bullying have been associated with poor mental health among Native American children, adolescents, and adults, according to study author Michael A. Friedman, a clinical psychologist specializing in how social environment can influence mental and physical health.

This fight will continue because in the last 30 years 30 more high schools have dropped the name.

American high schools never taught you this American History.natives

“A white man and an elderly Native man became pretty good friends, so the white guy decided to ask him: “What do you think about Indian mascots?” The Native elder responded, “Here’s what you’ve got to understand. When you look at black people, you see ghosts of all the slavery and the rapes and the hangings and the chains. When you look at Jews, you see ghosts of all those bodies piled up in death camps. And those ghosts keep you trying to do the right thing. “But when you look at us you don’t see the ghosts of the little babies with their heads smashed in by rifle butts at the Big Hole, or the old folks dying by the side of the trail on the way to Oklahoma while their families cried and tried to make them comfortable, or the dead mothers at Wounded Knee or the little kids at Sand Creek who were shot for target practice. You don’t see any ghosts at all. “Instead you see casinos and drunks and junk cars and shacks. “Well, we see those ghosts. And they make our hearts sad and they hurt our little children. And when we try to say something, you tell us, ‘Get over it. This is America. Look at the American dream.’ But as long as you’re calling us Redskins and doing tomahawk chops, we can’t look at the American dream, because those things remind us that we are not real human beings to you. And when people aren’t humans, you can turn them into slaves or kill six million of them or shoot them down with Hotchkiss guns and throw them into mass graves at Wounded Knee. “No, we’re not looking at the American dream. And why should we? We still haven’t woken up from the American nightmare.” — Native American perspective on the mascot issue; this is an excerpt from “Wolf at Twilight” by Kent Nerburn.

natonedian nation Here is some advice to Dan Snyder, The National Football Club, and Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Change The Name” and come into the future of a multi-ethnic America.

The last question when will an current African American Washington Football Club member speak out against this name? IT IS TIME
P.S. Some of this information is from the ESPN The Magazine website and Senior writer Don Van Natta Jr. Many thanks for continuing the fight

P.S.S. November 6, 2013 The city council of Washington D.C. had a unanimous  vote  against the Washington Football Club playing in their city with their current nickname. The team plays home games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland and plan to move back into the city of Washington, District of Columbia.

Gary Norris Gray – Family heritage to the Leni-Lenape Tribe of South Central New Jersey
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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One Comment

  1. Dracha Arendee

    November 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    The ‘People Not Mascots’ Logo is meant to be a Native American protest caricature of the Cleveland Indians Baseball team. It was originally painted by David Jakupca at the historic ARK in Berea incorporating elements of the Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts, it has drawn criticism from some sportswriters, fans and local businessmen, but gained immediate acceptance among humanitarian, religious groups and Native Americans. It gained international popular attention when it was it exhibited by ICEA at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria and has become one of the most recognized anti-racists logo’s in existence. It also caused repercussions for the groups connected with using the logo in protest demonstrations and this has been documented in the INTERNECINE MATRIX..
    Reference Links:
    INTERNECINE MATRIX http://theicea.com/page21
    WIKIPEDIA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Wahoo

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