The Argument Against Washington Team's Mascot After Protest In Glendale

Published: Monday, September 10, 2018 - 12:25pm
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Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
Members of Arizona to Rally Against Native Mascots protest the Washington mascot outside State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Sept. 9, 2018.

It was the season opener for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, and while most of the headlines about the game were about how our home team got trounced, there was another story playing out outside of the stadium.  

Dozens of people gathered in front of the stadium as fans were streaming in to protest the other team that hit the field: the Washington Redskins.

It is, of course, that team’s mascot that is at issue here. The team's name — which is a dictionary-defined racial slur about Native Americans — has been at the center of an ongoing debate for years. The controversy has gone as far up as the president — who said the debate over the name was another example of unnecessary political correctness. And the team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, has said he won’t change the name.

But Native American activists say it’s akin to using the N-word and dehumanizes their people. Many news outlets have banned or limited their use of the word — we will only use it once in our coverage of this story.

Amanda Blackhorse, who founded the group Arizona To Rally Against Native Mascots, organized the protest and put up four billboards with the same message around the stadium ahead of the game.

She said they handed out literature on the issue to fans. Some fans even stopped and talked to them.

James Riding In is a founding member of ASU’s American Indian Studies Program and a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. He has served as an expert witness in several legal cases — including Pro-Football Inc. vs. Amanda Blackhorse, and he joined The Show to talk about the issue.

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