Council Passes Resolution Supporting the Renaming of Washington Football Team

One week after the Washington’s NFL team announced they will officially retire their name and logo, the Montgomery County Council passed a resolution that displays their support of renaming the team.

The resolution states: “let it be resolved that out of respect for the multi-racial, ethnic, and religious diversity in our country and region, the owner of the Washington Redskins is urged to change the name of the team so that the team can succeed in its relocation efforts with a new name and logo that respects all residents of the area, Native and non-Native alike.”

While the team has been a source of pride and joy for residents in the area for several years now, the Council believes that it is now time to move away from the name that is defined in some dictionaries as “usually offensive,” “disparaging,” and a racial slur.

“We have had a tradition for far too long of making ugly stereotypes and slurs of our Native peoples into mascots in this country, and it is time to now move to the right side of history,” Councilmember Nancy Navarro tweeted.

To promote equality and social justice for all, various measures have been taken over the years. In 1996, former owner of the Washington Bullets, Abe Pollin, formally changed the team’s name to the Washington Wizards. The name change came as a result of the word “bullets” being associated with violence in a city that was afflicted with a high number of homicides. In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) passed a resolution calling for the urgent retirement of Native American mascots in schools and athletics.

Further action was taken in the past few years when the Council of the District of Columbia (2013) and the Arlington County Board (2015) issued resolutions asking current Washington Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, to change the name of the professional football team.

Likewise, numerous Native American and non-Native American civil rights organizations and religious organizations have called for the eradication of Native American names, logos, as well as mascots.

Councilmember Tom Hucker did not hold back on the matter tweeting, “This name has long been a needless embarrassment to the DC region. This is not the first time I’ve weighed in against this name – but I am hopeful it is the last.”

In addition, the resolution states that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will not permit teams with “offensive stereotypes” to take part in championship games.

The Washington NFL franchise is expected to announce a new name in the coming weeks.

“Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.”

The Council strongly hopes that the new name will reflect and respect everyone. “It is my hope that the name that the Organization eventually chooses will proudly be supported by our community, and that it is reflective of our region’s great history and culture,” Navarro tweeted.

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Emma Shuster

About Emma Shuster

Emma Shuster is a rising junior and journalism major at the University of Maryland. She is currently a Summer 2020 intern at Montgomery Community Media. Follow her on Twitter @emmashuster1

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