Opponents of the Washington football team’s name have asked the word Redskins not be used at the Metrodome. The Vikings play D.C. in Minneapolis on Nov. 7. Critics say Washington’s team name is a racial slur.
And today, the Minnesota chapter of the ACLU added its opposition.
“This isn’t directly a civil liberties issue, but my God, what about decency,” said executive director Chuck Samuelson. “I mean, seriously. This is 2013. Is there no other name you could come up with for your football team?”
But Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen says there’s not much her agency can do about it.
“You know the authority doesn’t really control the game-day experience, as far as the announcements or what goes up on the boards,” Kelm-Helgen said today after a meeting at the State Capitol. “You know we’re talking with the team and the NFL and our attorneys as to what our options are and what can be done. Or what can’t be done.”
Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said that the Minnesota NFL franchise can’t do much regarding the visiting franchise.
“We’ve been talking with the Native American community, we’ve been talking with the stadium authority, we’ve been talking with the NFL. We’re trying to hear everybody out and be respectful and sensitive, to the concerns, which we are. In terms of action, we don’t have a path beyond that. We’ll defer to the NFL,” Bagley said.
The ban request is the latest in an ongoing campaign to get owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s name. New York’s Oneida nation upped the pressure this fall, launching a public campaign to change the mascot’s name.
So far, the effort has been unsuccessful and Snyder has told fans he’s going to keep it.