Change the Mascot Praises Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for Urging NFL Leaders to End Use of Racist Slur for Washington’s Team

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Terry McAuliffe, former Governor of Virginia, has now urged NFL leaders to listen for calls to change the name and mascot of Washington’s NFL team. Change the Mascot applauds McAuliffe – a previous advocate for maintaining the name – and his new support for ending the use of the hurtful and racist R-word slur.

Change the Mascot

Now is the time for Roger Goodell, and team owner Dan Snyder to also lend their ears to the millions of voices calling for change. The time is now to make a difference – they can choose to uphold the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall, or they can choose to be on the right side of history.

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is one of the newest voices lending support to an effort to change the name of Washington’s NFL team and mascot.

Writing on Twitter, Governor McAuliffe urged NFL leaders to lead the way in changing the racist name: “This is a time for improving and change - myself included. Like many Virginians, I am a fan and appreciate their contribution to the Commonwealth, but its time to change the name of Washington's football team and I hope the @NFL will help lead the way.”

McAuliffe’s statement comes just days after the removal of founder George Preston Marshall’s “Ring of Fame” at FedEx Field and a memorial statue at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. by city officials. This removal was prompted by Marshall’s documented legacy of committed racism against people of color and Native Americans as exposed by the Change the Mascot campaign.

The former Governor’s recent support is also joined by other notable voices such as iconic film director Spike Lee and comedian and actor D.L. Hughey.

Spike Lee mentioned that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should approach owner Dan Snyder and demand to change the mascot, adding “Can you imagine an NFL team called — now, people don’t get mad at me, I’m just making a point — the Chicago Ch*nks, The Washington W*sps, The Nevada N*ggas?” Hughley addressed the use of the team’s slur as “disgusting and just as denigrating as the N-word in my estimation.”

“While Governor McAuliffe has been a previous supporter of keeping the damaging slur for Washington’s NFL team, we are glad to see that he now recognizes the name as a racist disparagement to Native peoples,” stated Ray Halbritter, head of the Change the Mascot campaign.

“Now is the time for Roger Goodell, and team owner Dan Snyder to also lend their ears to the millions of voices calling for change. The time is now to make a difference – they can choose to uphold the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall, or they can choose to be on the right side of history.”

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.

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Joel Barkin
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