Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Demonstrators wearing shirts with the Washington team logo that say: "Rethink." (Photo via Ruth Hopkins/Twitter)

#NotYourMascot: Thousands Protest 'Racist' Washington Team

As many as four thousand protesters rallied outside the Washington-Minneapolis football game

Arriving in Minnesota to play their scheduled Sunday afternoon match, Washington football players were greeted by thousands of Native Americans and supporters who were there to declare: "We are not your mascot!"

According to the Washington Post, at least two thousand demonstrators carried signs, banged drums and chanted outside the University of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium, in what organizers expect will be the largest-ever protest against the name of the Washington Redskins. Participants traveled from as far as Kentucky, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma. 

"'Redskins' is an offensive racial slur and stereotype. The continued use of mascots and team names in sports has resulted in widespread racial, cultural, and spiritual stereotyping that promotes hatred and disrespect toward Native people," wrote the protest organizers, a coalition of grassroots organizations dubbed #NotYourMascot. The coalition includes local chapters of Idle No More, local chapters of the American Indian Movement, United Urban Warrior Society, Protect Our Manoomin, Twin Cities Save the Kids, Minnesota Two Spirit Society and several other organizations.

According to the Star-Tribune, "Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges led the throng in a chant of 'Change the Name.'  Hodges then said to the gathering, 'I have a message to the Washington team: The clock is ticking on your name … it is more than an insult. It’s hate.'"

Despite the growing criticism of the mascot, which many say is 'inherently racist' and 'disparaging' of Native Americans, team owner Daniel Snyder has vowed that he will "never" change the team's name.

The Star-Tribune estimated that at least 3,000 protesters were present by 10:30 AM while some reports said the crowd was as big as 4,000.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Darnella Frazier Receives Pulitzer Special Citation 'for Courageously Recording the Murder of George Floyd'

"Without Darnella, Derek Chauvin never would have been tried and George Floyd would have been blamed by the state for his own death."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'We Are Sounding the Alarm': Global Left Warns Right-Wing Fujimori Trying to Steal Election in Peru

"Fujimori’s only way forward to victory is simple: annul tens of thousands of already tallied votes," warned Progressive International. "Powerful forces are organizing to deliver this outcome."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


'Climate Denial Masquerading as Bipartisanship': Progressives Reject Latest Infrastructure Compromise

"Refusing to act on climate means selling out future generations. The future of our planet and the health of our communities are non-negotiable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


Conservationists Applaud Biden Plan to Reverse Trump Attack on Tongass National Forest

"Even if you live thousands of miles from the Tongass National Forest, you still benefit from its unique ability to fight climate change," said Earthjustice.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'A Crime': Venezuela Says US Sanctions Disrupting Payments to Vaccine-Sharing Facility

"The message from the U.S. is clear," said one progressive critic: "the 'global health' system is our geopolitical weapon."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·