Oneida Nation Homelands, NY (PRWEB) May 08, 2014
Days after New York state lawmakers launched bipartisan legislation demanding the NFL stop promoting a dictionary-defined racial slur against Native Americans, NFL star cornerback Richard Sherman became the first current pro football player to openly criticize the league for refusing to use its power to change the name.
In an interview with Time magazine published May 7 on its website, the Seattle Seahawks star was asked if the NFL would respond the same way as the NBA to racism. Sherman said, “No I don’t. Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins. I don’t think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom line league. If it doesn’t affect their bottom line, they’re not as concerned.”
Sherman was then asked whether the NBA’s action against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling would bolster the campaign to change the Washington team’s name. He responded by saying, “I would hope it would help.”
In response to Sherman’s comments, Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter issued the following statement:
“Throughout American history, athletes who have been willing to use their public platform to demand justice have played a critical role in the fight for equality, and Richard Sherman is continuing that tradition. By courageously standing up to the league on behalf of the fight for equality and mutual respect, Richard Sherman has not only honored the courage of all the athletes before him who fought for civil rights, he also has sent a powerful wake-up call to the NFL. Right now, NFL players are being forced to be a part of an enterprise that insists on profiting off of the promotion of a dictionary-defined racial slur. Richard Sherman has let every player in the NFL know that they don’t have to be silent - they have a right to stand up and say that professional sports should not be marketing and promoting racial slurs.”
Halbritter also praised former Washington NFL players including all-pro linebacker Jason Taylor, Hall of Famer Art Monk and linebacker London Fletcher for echoing the core themes of the “Change the Mascot” campaign.
“More and more voices from the sports world are saying what should be obvious: decades after famed segregationist George Preston Marshall forced the Washington team to use this racial slur as its name, change is long overdue and must happen right now,” Halbritter said.