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. 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.
Oneida Indian Nation Homelands – July 13, 2020 – Change the Mascot – a nationwide grassroots campaign formed to end the use of the R-word racial slur against Native Americans by the NFL’s Washington team – today commends the league and Washington’s team owners for their decision to change the team’s name and mascot.
The campaign was launched in 2013 by Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative, building upon the decades of heroic work by Native American organizations and activists including National Congress of American Indians, Susan Harjo and Amanda Blackhorse.
“The NFL and Dan Snyder have finally made the right call and Change the Mascot commends them for it,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and head of the Change the Mascot campaign. “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.
“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.
“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.”
About Change the Mascot
Change the Mascot is a grassroots campaign that works to educate the public about the damaging effects on Native Americans arising from the continued use of the R-word. This civil and human rights movement has helped reshape the debate surrounding the Washington team’s name and brought the issue to the forefront of social consciousness. Since its launch, Change the Mascot has garnered support from a diverse coalition of prominent advocates including elected officials from both parties, Native American tribes, sports icons, leading journalists and news publications, civil and human rights organizations and religious leaders.