A Native American group’s effort to restore the NFL’s Washington franchise to the original “Redskins” name is gaining momentum amid bipartisan resistance to cancel culture.
The team, known as the Redskins since its Boston days in 1933, underwent a rebranding last year, adopting the name Commanders due to criticism of the original name’s offensive associations with Native Americans.
The Native American Guardian’s Association (NAGA) is the North Dakota nonprofit that initiated a Change.org petition aiming to revive the renowned “Washington Redskins” name. The petition was introduced merely a year after introducing the replacement name.
The NFL’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer is uncomfortable with the petition to bring back the name Washington Redskins.
Surprisingly he isn’t concerned with the term ‘Redskin,’ but because of the group organizing it, who call themselves NAGA.
(Native American Guardian… pic.twitter.com/uywRCK3H3q
— NFL Notifications (@NFLNotify) August 16, 2023
Remarkably, the petition has already amassed over 100,000 signatures.
Launched on June 21, the petition advocates for restoring the original name to serve “the team, its loyal fanbase and the legacy it represents.”
The petition reads, “The name ‘Redskins’ carries deep cultural, historical and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture. It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration.”
The petition continues, “Changing the name abruptly disregards the positive legacy that the Redskins name has built over the years and disorients the passionate fans who have invested their emotions, time and unwavering support in the team.”
NAGA goes on to say, “We invite all Americans to stand up for the dignity of every American under assault in today’s increasingly nonsensical culture wars.”
Last week, NAGA conveyed a letter to the new Commanders owner, Josh Harris, team president Jason Wright and head coach Ron Rivera. The letter formally urged the franchise to “rightfully change their name back to ‘the Redskins.’”
In their ‘Redskins’ era, the team featured a mascot with dark skin and a mohawk, wearing a loincloth adorned with the club’s logo.
The franchise was established in Boston, where the owner at the time, George P. Marshall, initially considered naming them the ‘Braves.’ However, he settled for his second choice due to the presence of the city’s National League baseball team, which eventually moved to Milwaukee and then Atlanta.
The name alteration was among various controversies that Snyder grappled with during his ownership tenure, which concluded last month when he sold the team for a historic sum of $6.05 billion.