The nationwide grassroots campaign was formed in 2013 with the goal of ending the use of the name for the team. The campaign says it is an organization that "works to educate the public about the damaging effects on Native Americans arising from the continued use of the R-word."
“Nationwide grassroots campaign Change the Mascot today applauds the National Football League and the Washington franchise for finally agreeing to change its offensive name and mascot,” the campaign said in a release. “Created in 2013, the Change the Mascot campaign has been the leading voice in addressing the problematic mascot and urging NFL and Washington team officials to drop the racist R-word slur from the team.”
The campaign, which was launched by Ray Halbritter, an Oneida Indian Nation Representative, praised Washington for making what they said was the right call on the name change.
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Early Monday morning, Washington officially announced a change to the name of which the team was called since 1933.
“The NFL and Dan Snyder have finally made the right call and Change the Mascot commends them for it,” Halbritter said in the release. “This is a good decision for the country – not just Native peoples – since it closes a painful chapter of denigration and disrespect toward Native Americans and other people of color. Future generations of Native youth will no longer be subjected to this offensive and harmful slur every Sunday during football season.”
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Washington will now need a new logo and team name, a change which is a long time coming for some who have fought for a new name and logo.
“We have made clear from the start that this movement was never about political correctness, but seeking to prevent unnecessary harm to our youth, since we know from social scientists the many harmful effects this mascot has had on Native Americans’ self-image,” the statement continued. “Today marks the start of a new chapter for the NFL and the Washington franchise, beginning a new legacy that can be more inclusive for fans of all backgrounds.”
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