Published May 10, 2018
— The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
announced Monday that it will no longer consider NFL teams in Washington and Kansas City for its RWJF Sports Awards
, citing the psychological damage to Native Americans caused by the use of American Indian stereotypes.
In an op-ed in USA Today
, Richard E. Besser, a physician and president of the foundation, apologized for having honored teams in the past that denigrate American Indian people.
“We didn’t consider the fact that the team names, mascots and misappropriation and mocking of sacred symbols like headdresses do real damage to the health of people across the country.”
Echo Hawk Consulting
is proud to have helped spear head this important action in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Reclaiming Native Truth Project
, numerous tribes, Native youth, Native organizations like the American Indian College Fund
, and non-Native allies. We are inspired and grateful for how Indian Country came together to voice their concerns that were heard and taken seriously by one of the most influential leaders in health and philanthropy. Thank you Robert Wood Johnson Foundation!