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D.C. Clergy Ask Washington Redskins to Change Their Name

The call for the Washington Redskins to change their mascot to something less racially charged has been growing over the past year, despite insistence from the powers-that-be who insist the subject is not up for debate (Redskins owner Daniel Synder: “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”) It’s an issue that’s dug some pretty deep lines on both sides. On the one hand, there’s a lot of loyalty to the team name, and there are a few Native American groups who have said the mascot doesn’t offend them. On the other hand, that hasn’t stopped The National Congress of American Indians, The Kansas City Star, the Washington City Paper, Slate, Bob Costas, Peter King and many others from making a push for it. And now they’re being joined by a coalition of two dozen clergy in the Washington area.

Saying they had commitments from nearly 100 area pastors to speak to their congregations about what they’ve named the “r-word,” the coalition announced their intentions to stand by the Oneida Indian Nation, who have largely spearheaded the campaign. They’ve put together a petition for churches to sign and send to the NFL, which reads, in part: “The derogatory term ‘redskin’ offends many Native Americans and others in this country,” the petition says in part. “This word, defined in the dictionary as a slur, should not be publicly marketed and celebrated in America, which is built on the ideals of respect and inclusion. As representatives of our faith communities, we believe that this is a moral issue and we therefore have an obligation to step forward to join the Change the Mascot movement” …

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