When we talk about the NFL, one team’s name change, from “Redskins” to “Washington Football Team” and then to “Commanders,” has made significant headlines lately.
Now, in a recent twist, the Native American Guardian Association (NAGA) has chimed in. They’ve thrown their weight behind a campaign urging the Commanders to revert their name back to the “Redskins.” Why, you might ask?
Well, NAGA believes in preserving the rich history associated with the name “Redskins”. They’ve rolled out a petition resonating with their mission that is “designed to promote our history, put an end to cancel culture, and reclaim the name Redskins.” Impressively, over 90,000 people have already put their signatures on this appeal. Recently, they have also started a petiton to making changes in Cleveland back to Cleveland Indians too.
— Native American Guardians Association (@GuardiansNative) August 15, 2023
Team’s Response & Historical Context
At its core, NAGA’s campaign is about much more than just a name. It’s about making a statement against cancel culture and standing up for the rights of every American. The petition emphasizes the invaluable contribution of Native Americans in founding America and their influence on the principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
NAGA’s message is clear: This isn’t a partial issue. Instead, it’s about acknowledging the rich tapestry of American history and the inherent value of the American Indian in the NFL. By urging the NFL franchise to recognize this history and value, especially one representing the nation’s capital, they aim to encourage understanding and unity.
Although the Washington Commanders haven’t responded publicly to this petition yet, it’s essential to understand the context behind their name changes.
The original shift from “Redskins” to “Washington Football Team” in 2020 was amidst heightened racial sensitivity in the U.S. Former team owner Daniel Snyder remarked that the old name became “a distraction from our primary focus of football” and hoped the change would be more inclusive.
Nevertheless, the Commanders underwent another change in leadership with Josh Harris taking the helm. With this, NAGA sees an opportunity to bridge the past with the present, restoring the historical nickname while also ensuring it resonates with respect and dignity.
🔥🔥 𝟗𝟎,𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐄𝐒🔥🔥
𝐏𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐄 𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍 & 𝐑𝐄𝐏𝐎𝐒𝐓: https://t.co/V62BFgxwbN#itsNagaTime #educatenoteradicate #HTTR #reclaimtheredskins @commanders #NAGALoudNAGAProud @megynkelly @stoolpresidente @GrantCardone pic.twitter.com/1Ht1e1Tb9E
— Native American Guardians Association (@GuardiansNative) August 14, 2023
Past, Present, Future
In the broader scheme of things, the Redskins’ journey, from its inception in 1933 in Boston, through its years of challenges and championships, to the present day, is symbolic of the broader American journey. It’s a journey of understanding, evolution, and adaptation.
For many Indigenous individuals, the “Redskins” name and logo were viewed as degrading. It became essential for the franchise to reflect on this perspective and act, leading to the initial name change in 2020. Now, with NAGA’s petition, the debate takes a new turn, asking if it’s possible to honor history without perpetuating stereotypes.
Only time will reveal the path the Washington Commanders’ ownership will tread. But one thing’s for sure: this debate transcends sports, touching on the very essence of American identity, culture, and history.
The movement is growing!
RECLAIM THE REDSKINS!!! pic.twitter.com/Syql4IpJ5d
— Eric Spracklen🇺🇸 (@EricSpracklen) August 13, 2023
The Native American Guardian Association (NAGA) is campaigning for the NFL’s Washington Commanders to revert their name back to “Redskins.” They have also started a petition to reclaim the name Cleveland Indians.
NAGA believes that the name “Redskins” has a rich history associated with it and aims to preserve this history. They have launched a petition to promote history, counter cancel culture, and reclaim the name.
Over 90,000 people have signed the petition.
The petition emphasizes the invaluable contribution of Native Americans in founding America, their influence on the principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and the importance of standing up against cancel culture.
The team changed its name amid heightened racial sensitivity in the U.S. in 2020. The former team owner, Daniel Snyder, stated that the old name had become a distraction from the primary focus of football, and he hoped the change would be more inclusive.
The current owner of the Washington Commanders is Josh Harris.
The Redskins name was initially adopted in 1933 when the team was based in Boston.
The team decided to change its name to the Washington Commanders as part of rebranding efforts, which followed the sale of the franchise to a new ownership group led by Josh Harris.
The name “Redskins” was controversial because it was seen as offensive and degrading to many Indigenous individuals, who viewed the name and logo as a slur and a negative stereotype.
This debate transcends sports and touches on essential aspects of American identity, culture, and history. It raises questions about how to honor history without perpetuating stereotypes.
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