UN 'expert' condemns Redskins football team
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/11/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Washington Redskins may receive a name change, at least if a so-called expert on indigenous rights gets his way.
While the Washington Redskins have been criticized over their icon and name, public opinion still rests heavily with them.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Anaya, a law professor with the University of Arizona, oversees global indigenous rights with the UN, and said in a statement that retaining the name is the wrong choice for the franchise.
"It is understood to be a pejorative and disparaging term that fails to respect and honor the historical and cultural legacy of the Native Americans in the US," he said.
Anaya has long condemned the use of Native American stereotypes, blaming them for obscuring reality and keeping racist attitudes alive. He was particularly critical of sports teams, as well as media caricatures and mainstream education.
"Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories, and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information," he said.
The Redskins are no strangers to controversy over the name.
The team's owners, however, continue to stick to their guns, and it seems that the public at large supports the retention of the name.
A 2013 USA Today poll found that 79 percent of polled Americans believed that the Redskins should keep the same name. Another study, done by market research firm Survata, found that just 19 percent of those polled though a name change was in order.
In 2004 a poll by Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania showed that 91 percent of Native Americans polled did not mind the name.
IN 2013 10 members of Congress wrote a letter urging the team's owner Dan Snyder to change the name, but Snyder came out publicly to support his team's name. "We will never change the name of the team," he said.
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