Change the Mascot Responds to Report of Washington NFL Team Working with Congress to Slip Stadium Provision into Spending Bill

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The Change the Mascot campaign today responded to news that the Washington NFL team is seeking to quietly slip a provision regarding a new D.C. stadium into the massive spending bill currently making its way through Congress.

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It is very telling that the Washington team is trying to quietly slip their stadium provision into a complex bill when no one is looking, because their racist team name is simply indefensible, and the team has met strong resistance to a move back into the District.

A new report from The Washington Post broke news that the Washington NFL team is reportedly working to discreetly add a provision to the large Congressional spending bill, which would pave the way for the team to build a new stadium in D.C.

In response to the news, Change the Mascot leader Ray Halbritter released following statement:

“It is very telling that the Washington team is trying to quietly slip their stadium provision into a complex bill when no one is looking, because their racist team name is simply indefensible, and the team has met strong resistance to a move back into the District.”

Halbritter continued: “The team’s R-word moniker is a dictionary-defined racial slur that has no place in today’s vernacular or professional sports, especially not for a franchise that represents – and seeks to reside in – our nation’s capital.”

Just weeks ago, a unanimous resolution was passed by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian organization, which “call[ed] on the District of Columbia’s governing leaders, including the D.C. Council and Mayor, to oppose and refuse to approve a move back to the District by the franchise until it changes its offensive name.”

Previously, the D.C. Council passed its own resolution, condemning the team’s ongoing use of the “racist and derogatory” R-word.

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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