Mark Dayton, R.T. Rybak call on Washington Redskins to change "racist" nickname [UPDATE]

Redskins.jpg
-- Update at bottom --

The Washington Redskins are in town tonight to play a nationally televised game against the soap opera that is the Minnesota Vikings.

One subplot is the ongoing controversy over the Redskins' offensive nickname, which has prompted the American Indian Movement to plan a protest outside tonight's game.

RELATED: ACLU calls on Vikings to boycott "Redskins" when Washington comes to Metrodome

During a news conference today, Gov. Mark Dayton was asked for his opinion on the nickname. Here's what he said:

Dayton isn't the first Minnesota politician to get involved in the Redskins controversy.

In June, a group of Congress members led by Rep. Betty McCollum (she's co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus) wrote a letter to Redskins owner Daniel Synder urging him to reconsider his stance that the nickname won't be changed.

"Native Americans throughout the country consider the term 'redskin' a racial, derogatory slur akin to the 'N-word' among African Americans or the 'W-word' among Latinos," McCollum and her colleagues wrote. "Such offensive epithets would no doubt draw wide-spread disapproval among the NFL's fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington's NFL team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans."

:::: UPDATE ::::

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also weighed in on the nickname controversy on his Facebook page today. In a somewhat humorous twist, he said his son Charlie lives in D.C. and is a Vikings fan, but if he ever switched allegiances, dear old dad could be counted upon to never buy him any merch adorned with the "derogatory" Redskins name and logo.

Here's R.T.'s entire statement:
It has never been right to disrespect the indigenous people of our country, and it is especially wrong to do it in 2013 with the name of a team that represents our nation's capital.

I stand with elected officials across the country, including members of the Minneapolis City Council, and many, many others who believe it is long past time to change the name of Washington's NFL team. It is deeply disappointing that calls for respect have not been heard, and I will join others in looking for ways to bring change, including urging those who agree to boycott merchandise of the Washington Football Franchise.

I have a son who lives in Washington who, thankfully, remains a Viking fan, but if he ever changes allegiance, he should not count on his dad buying him anything that uses their derogatory name and logo.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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107 comments
mfl1926
mfl1926

There's a simple solution: Keep the nickname. Change the logo to a potato. 

Efrain Cruz
Efrain Cruz

Don't see the big deal really. It's a derogatory word that is offense to Native Americans. The only reason it's lasted so long is before most Native Americans don't watch football to give a fuck but apparently now some do. :P It would be like an NFL team being called Nigger and everyone supposed to just be cool and chill with it. I personally don't care but that doesn't mean thousands of others don't.

Kevin Clark
Kevin Clark

May the Redskins never change their name. Political correctness must not prevail over private business's right to operate.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

About 10 years ago a well funded liberal group of American Indians threatened to sue my old high school because they felt the name was racist. They claimed it hurt their culture and caused great pain within the indian culture. In case anyone is wondering what racist word they wanted eliminated ....ARROWS.

Adam Klugherz
Adam Klugherz

Lol @ the white people here that are all "as a native American..."

Melissa Niederkorn
Melissa Niederkorn

This is exactly how I feel about it. I think that it's certainly okay to use certain terms depending on the tone and use of the term. But, certainly, the term 'redskin' is a straight up slur. I mean, when in the world could or would that term be used ANY other way? Would you walk to a Native and call them that particular term? If you did could it have any other connotation than a negative one? Common sense. It's offensive. The owner of the team did himself no favors by his attitude about it either.

Swervable
Swervable

The them "redskin" comes from the bloody scalps that the trappers would turn in from all the natives they killed. They would turn them in with the animal skins they captured.

Darrell Maurice Turner
Darrell Maurice Turner

Rybak always jumping on the bandwagon. Chump! Weak ass Mayor. This fool hasn't done anything for Minneapolis. Good riddance!

Tiffannie Marie
Tiffannie Marie

Lenny this is beyond political correctness. It's not a trivial silly word, the term "redskins" is a highly racist term.

Christian Johnson
Christian Johnson

Why not show our indigenous people some long overdue respect instead of sticking up for a rich douchebag owner of the last NFL team to integrate? What harm would that do?

Lenny Grossman
Lenny Grossman

Nation of Politically Correct Pussies, For Decades this Shit was never an Issue!

Bruce Fisher
Bruce Fisher

Dayton has the right to express his opinion, just as everyone on here.

Brendan Scherer
Brendan Scherer

I guess I have never equated pejorative terms with starving children and abuse.

Steve Corl
Steve Corl

How long has this been like this and now it's a issue I don't get it?

yosteff
yosteff

No quotes required around the word racist in that title.  It is.


William Davis
William Davis

Stop the presses everyone, white people from the suburbs aren't offended by the name. I guess it's ok then!

Brendan Scherer
Brendan Scherer

Let alone their logo which is a stereotype. But, I don't take things very seriously and have much more important things to worry about than what a team decides to name themselves. Much bigger problems in the world.

Lisa Andrews
Lisa Andrews

There are people of every race and creed in need of social services. I fail to see what that has to do with you commenting that its "weird" people are claiming Native American heritage.

Valeria Rock
Valeria Rock

LOL, Lisa! Creating a good conversation and then FB blocking the other is not how we learn!

Erin Caroline
Erin Caroline

Or who otherwise have never had any interest etc in NFL or care about football....

Imotineya Enmebaragesi
Imotineya Enmebaragesi

Idea, remove feathers, cut hair, make skin pale and rename the team the Crackers. Then you can all fight over it being offensive because it will apply to you...

Erin Caroline
Erin Caroline

That's what I've been saying! LOL. So what, we all get hammered, wear green and get in drunken brawls? ;)

Erin Caroline
Erin Caroline

Vikings historically were feared and never losers LOL

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

Just because there are other atrocities in life doesn't mean we just ignore the little things. I have the strength to fight lots of injustices, not just one.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Kevin Clark That's exactly what will force the change - they will lose their trademark rights on the name and logo in the courts. The "rights" of private business are not absolute.

yosteff
yosteff

@Lenny Grossman The first protest I went to in Minneapolis against the Washington team name was in January of 1992 when the Superbowl was at the Metrodome.  So for decades this shit has been an issue your just too ahistorical to know it.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Dave Scaglione Talking about your Dad again, Dave?

kopuz
kopuz

@Bruce Fisher Even if he clearly is a drug addict and in fact is hurting our great state more and more every day he remains in office?

yosteff
yosteff

@Steve Corl The first protest I went to in Minneapolis against the Washington team name was in January of 1992 when the Superbowl was at the Metrodome.  So for decades this shit has been an issue your just too ahistorical to know it.

kopuz
kopuz

@Imotineya Enmebaragesi I have never met a single white person who was offended by the term "cracker".  Have you?

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@yosteff I remember the Super Bowl protest.  And Lenny - this HAS been an issue for decades. Just because you just found out about it doesn't mean it didn't exist before.

kopuz
kopuz

@yosteff You have had nothing better to do since 1992 then protest a football teams name?  You do not speak for natives in this nation, so don't for a second think you do.  Life has gotten to easy for white people in this nation.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kopuz Ha - he's a ray of sunshine compared to that hack T-Paw. Talk about damage to the state! Check out the polling - Dayton will win a second term easily against anyone the Republican'ts decide to run against him.

sosmpls
sosmpls

@yosteff Well give yourself a big PC pat on the back. Then say Baaaaa!

Mindless sheep with nothing better to whine about!

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kopuz How about honky? The cracker term comes from the cracker of the whip. The honky term comes from the white guys honking their horns to catch the attention of the black prostitutes they were after.

yosteff
yosteff

@kopuz @yosteff You said this hasn't been an issue until now.  I was simply pointing out that your mistaken, it's been an issue for a long time and the people leading the issue are Native Americans.

yosteff
yosteff

@sosmpls @yosteff@Steve Corl  said this hasn't been an issue until now, i was simply pointing out that he is mistaken.  It is a longstanding issue.  As for @sosmpls I think Washington should change it's name to the Crackers so you can have a jacket to wear that really reflects who you are.

kopuz
kopuz

@sosmpls Amen!

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