Washington Redskins announce name change with racist overtones

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The Washington Redskins (NFL) team officially announced on Monday the name change, which has been criticized for many years by Native American organizations for its racist overtones.

The Washington Redskins’ American Football Team (NFL), under strong pressure from its sponsors, confirmed on Monday July 13 that it would change its name. The latter had been criticized for many years because of its racist connotation, notably by Amerindian organizations.

“On July 3, we announced the start of an in-depth review of the team’s name,” said a statement posted on the team’s official account. “Today, we are announcing that we will drop the Redskins name and logo after this review is complete.”

Its owner, Daniel Snyder, had always refused to change the name of the team, saying that this nickname paid tribute to the Amerindians.

But after the death of the African-American George Floyd at the end of May, and while the United States is in full examination of conscience to rethink its relation to their racist past, the pressure – in particular economic from the part of sponsors like FedEx – rose again around the Redskins.

10 days ago, the team thus paved the way for such a change, announcing that it would carry out an “in-depth examination” of the name “in view of recent events across the country”.

Several other American professional sports teams have Native American names and logos, such as the Cleveland Indians baseball team, which made their “Chief Wahoo” mascot disappear from their outfits and almost all their merchandising, and also announced that they are thinking about the question of their name.

A week ago, Donald Trump criticized the move: “It looks like the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians, two legendary sports franchises, are going to change their names to be politically correct,” he tweeted.

With AFP

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