Updated: July 8, 2016


Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter


The hammer continues to fall on the Washington Football Club. In January 2017, state laws enacted in both California and Oregon will prohibit any public school from using the Redskin nickname.  California becomes the first state to bar the name, effective January 1; Oregon will follow a few weeks later, effective January 17.

 California Governor Jerry Brown signed the prohibition into law in October 2015. As of Jan. 1, 2017, all public schools will be barred from using the term “Redskin,” which many Native Americans consider a racial slur. The measure as proposed by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) would allow schools that use materials that contain the term, such as uniforms, to phase out their use to alleviate cost concerns. The new law will affect four California high schools in Merced, Calaveras, Tulare and Madera counties.
The Oregon Board of Education started the effort in 2012, requiring schools in the state to eliminate Native American mascots by 2017 or risk losing public funding. Economic pressure is the only way to end this controversy and now the State of California has joined the chorus.


Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata, who lead the advocacy group Change the Mascot, praised Alejo and Brown in a joint statement.

RESIZEDnot your mascot (1)

As of July 2016 for the first time in American history there are fewer than 100 schools in the United States that still cling to this name.

The walls are slowly closing in on Dan Snyder (owner) and the Washington Football Club. Washington is scheduled to play in London, England this October and they have strict laws against names that are disparaging toward a people or a culture. What will the National Football League do if Great Britain’s legislators bar the Burgundy and Gold from playing in London?


The California State Assembly overwhelmingly approved the California Racial Mascots Act in May, about a month before the Obama administration went on record telling the Washington Football Club that they would have to change their name before they would be allowed to move to a stadium in Washington, D.C., from their current home in suburban Landover, Maryland.

“This landmark legislation eliminating the R-word in California schools clearly demonstrates that this issue is not going away, and that opposition to the Washington team on this issue is only intensifying. The NFL should act immediately to press the team to change the name,” Halbritter and Pata said in a statement.

Special Thanks to

NBC News

The Huffington Post

Time Magazine

L.A. Times

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at

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