Six Minneapolis City Council members told the NFL and the owner of the Washington, DC franchise they disapprove of the team’s name and the mascot. The letter dated Nov. 4, comes days before the Vikings play the Redskins at the Metrodome on Thursday.
Council members Cam Gordon, Robert Lilligren, Lisa Goodman, Elizabeth Glidden, Gary Schiff and Betsy Hodges wrote the open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
In it, they call the team name offensive as “a reference to indigenous peoples in Minneapolis.
“We join those Minnesota residents who will be protesting outside Mall of America Field in condemning the racism inherent in the “Redskins” name. We call on the owners of the franchise to change the team’s name, and on the National Football League to take the necessary actions to convince the franchise owners to change the name.”
The council members said the word “redskin” was used as a term of derision, and recalls language used during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
The call from the city council members comes amid increasing criticism from Native American groups and others across the country.
Activists also have asked the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to ban the Washington team’s name from the Metrodome, but the authority’s chair said last month there’s really nothing state can do to keep the offending name off the public address system and from signs.
Here’s today’s letter from Minneapolis City Council members: