Protests Continue to Have Washington NFL Team Change Racist Name
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA — Organizers of today’s ‘No Honor in Racism Rally’ against the name of the Washington NFL’s racist name expect 1,000 protesters to gather outside Levi’s Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers will play the Washington.
Among the rally speakers will be Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement.
A large coalition of grassroots California Indigenous organizations and allies are holding a ‘No Honor In Racism Rally’ as part of the national movement demanding that the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell end the use of the racial epithet in the league.
Clyde Bellecourt speaking at AIM-WEST annual conference in San Francisco on Friday
In addition to #GameOverForRacism banners, signs, and speakers, planned activities at the rally also include honoring Native culture and traditions with Native-led singing, drumming, and dancing. The protest is part of a series of nationwide actions at NFL games to “Change the Name & Change the Mascot!” that have been held at the Washington team’s away games against the Cardinals, Cowboys, Vikings, and will occur at the Washington team’s home game on December 28th.
Native activists will also be discussing the mascot issue as part of a larger resilience and fight against racism and colonialism. The rally’s speakers and messaging will connect their demand for respectful representation of Indigenous Peoples towards their current struggle for Sovereignty and Self Determination and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.
“We are not created as mascots for the public consumption. We are 154 distinct Indigenous sovereign nations in California, more than any other state. Today we stand together in protest of the mascot images of our people, along with human rights activists and others who believe Native Americans deserve the right to determine how our culture and identity is represented in the media” states Chochenyo Ohlone activist Corrina Gould.
Prior to today’s march, Gould will offer a traditional Ohlone welcoming during a prayer gathering near Ulistac Natural Area, an Ohlone sacred site located about a mile from the stadium. According to Gould, Ulistac is actually an old Ohlone language place name— Uli being an Ohlone warrior who inhabited the area, stac meaning place/land. Following the prayer gathering, the crowd will be marching to Levi’s Stadium to hold a press conference and rally.
“We stress that by changing the name and mascot, we are working to address systematic oppression, colonialism, and racism”, stated Morning Star Gali, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Pit River Tribe and co-chair of the Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports. The term “Redskin” is derogatory. It refers to scalp hunting which was the basis for the wars against Indigenous Peoples across the continent into the late nineteenth century. “The offensive team name is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ongoing racism directed at Native Americans. It’s an uphill battle to carry on our ways of life in the face of pop culture myths about who we are and who we are supposed to be as Indigenous people today.”
WHAT: ‘No Honor in Racism Rally’
WHEN: Sunday, November 23, 2014
WHERE: 8:00 am – Prayer Gathering – Ulistac Natural Area; 4901 Lick Mill Blvd, Santa Clara, California
9:30 am – Begin the march from Ulistac to Levi’s Stadium; 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way, at the cross streets of Great America Pkwy and Tasman Ave; Santa Clara, California.