A petition started by a Native American group demanding that the Washington Commanders go back to being called the Redskins has surpassed 100,000 signatures.
The Native American Guardians Association (NAGA), which seeks to reclaim Native history and return it to American culture, started its campaign last week with a letter asking the NFL team to return the Redskins name and Native American imagery.
The letter to the owners and executives of the Washington Commanders said the NAGA was “Formally Requesting The Team Revitalize its Relationship With The American Indian Community & Rightfully Change Their Name Back to ‘The Redskins.’”
🚨BREAKING: Native American Guardian’s Association Founder & President Eunice Davidson Sent a Demand Letter Today to Washington "Commanders" Ownership & Key Leadership Formally Requesting The Team Revitalize it's Relationship With The American Indian Community & Rightfully Change… pic.twitter.com/cpau4hVq6H
— Native American Guardians Association (@GuardiansNative) August 7, 2023
“You simply cannot erase history and target the Native American community by eradicating the name ‘Redskins’ while being an organization that fosters other Constitutional rights, including players who don’t honor the American flag and kneel during our National Anthem,” the letter read in part.
Originally launched in June, the petition at Change.org tells supporters, “We, are passionate supporters of the Washington Redskins and its rich history. We write to you today as a collective voice, urging you to reconsider the recent name change from the Redskins to the Commanders. We believe that restoring the original name, the Redskins, is the right decision for the team, its loyal fanbase, and the legacy it represents.”
“The name ‘Redskins’ carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture,” the petition adds. “It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration. Changing the name abruptly disregards the positive legacy that the Redskins name has built over the years and disorients the passionate fans who have invested their emotions, time, and unwavering support in the team.”
Now, NAGA says that the petition has earned more than 105,000 signatures.
— Native American Guardians Association (@GuardiansNative) August 15, 2023
Former team owner, Dan Snyder, dumped the team’s 90-year-old name in 2022 and replaced it with the “Washington Commanders” after years of pressure from left-wing grievance groups trying to cancel its Native American name and imagery.
The team’s legacy as the Redskins began in 1933 when the team was still in Boston and was named the Boston Redskins. That name remained when the team moved to Washington, D.C., in 1937.