When opposition to the Redskins name first intensified earlier this year, supporters of the name pointed out that Native Americans aren’t offended by it. When Oneida Indian Nation became one of the loudest voices arguing for change, supporters of the name pointed out that Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter isn’t a real Native American. (The federal courts have concluded that he is.)
Now, the National Congress of American Indians has joined in the opposition, issuing a video that consists of leaders from seven different tribes: Cathy Abramson, Councilmember, Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Al Goozmer, President, Tyonek Native Village of Alaska; Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and President, NCAI; Edwina Butler Wolfe, Governor, Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Leander McDonald, Tribal Chairman, Spirit Lake Tribe; Dennis Welsh, Chairman, Colorado River Indian Tribes; Candace Bossard, Councilmember, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.
We’ll now wait for the supporters of the name to suggest that one or more of these people aren’t real Native Americans, or that the name shouldn’t be changed until all or most Native Americans say that they are offended by the term.
Or maybe until the team trots out some more World War II code talkers for a contrived in-game honor.