“Not Your Mascot” March and Rally to Urge Washington NFL Team to Retire Degrading Team Name and Mascot

Thursday, Oct. 24

Peavey Field Park

Event to coincide with October 24th Washington vs. Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS, MN On Thursday, Oct. 24, a coalition of Minnesota tribal governments, the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media (NCARSM), the National Congress of American Indians, and other Native American organizations will host a “Not Your Mascot” march and rally urging the Washington NFL team to retire its degrading team name and mascot.

“For decades, the Washington NFL team has profited off their name and mascot with no regard for its painful connection to the displacement, violence and trauma experienced by Indigenous peoples for generations,” said David Glass, President of NCARSM.

“It’s time that we correct the narrative,” said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Secretary/Treasurer Rebecca Crooks-Stratton. “Native Americans are here today with our own governments, cultures and modern stories. The Washington team’s name is a painful embodiment of the lack of respect for and understanding of Native Americans.”

“Five years ago, we gathered outside TCF Bank Stadium to encourage the retirement of the Washington NFL team name,” said Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin. “Since then, nothing has changed – the Washington NFL team still unapologetically uses the worst Native American racial epithet.”

“The name is not positive or respectful; it is the very opposite, and instead encourages a dangerous caricature of what it means to be Native American. It is time to change the name. There is no honor in racism,” said Clyde Bellecourt, Founder and National Director of the American Indian Movement and Co-Founder of NCARSM.

In 2014, more than 4,000 people gathered outside the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium to support the retiring of the Washington NFL team name and mascot. The crowd included members from several tribal nations and Native American organizations, along with prominent government leaders, students, activists and allies.

EVENT DETAILS

WHAT: A “Not Your Mascot” march and rally, urging the Washington NFL team to retire their team name and mascot. Participants will gather at Peavey Field Park in Minneapolis at 2 p.m. The march will begin at 4 p.m., ending at The Commons in downtown Minneapolis in front of U.S. Bank Stadium. The rally at The Commons will begin at 5 p.m. and end at approximately 7:15 p.m.

WHO: More than 30 well-known national and local leaders will speak at the event. A complete agenda of confirmed speakers is being finalized.

WHEN:

Thursday, Oct. 24

March begins: 4:00 p.m.

Rally: 5:00 – 7:15 p.m.

WHERE:               

March:

Peavey Field Park

730 E. 22nd St.

Minneapolis, MN 55404

Rally:

The Commons, near U.S. Bank Stadium

425 Portland Ave. S.

Minneapolis, MN 55415

RSVP: Members of the media planning to attend the march and rally should RSVP to Caroline Burns at caroline@goffpublic.com.

Ending “Indian” Mascots is an informational service provided by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), which is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities. It has been leading Indian Country’s movement to eradicate offensive “Indian” mascots from sports and popular culture for the past 50 years by educating schools, sports leagues, and the general public about the many harms they cause Native people. To learn more, please click here.