Opinion | Sports

Kina Swayney: Eastern Cherokees don't support racist NFL name

The logo for the Change the Mascot campaign

Kina Swayney, a veteran and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, discusses opposition to the Washington NFL team's racist mascot:
This past November, the American Legion Steve Youngdeer Post 143 posted colors during a Washington “Redskins” game in honor of Veteran’s Day and Native American Recognition month. It came as a great disappointment when their participation was featured as the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, “Supporting the Name” on Washington’s team website. The American Legion went to Washington in good faith and with honorable intentions. The Redskin Foundation took advantage of that good faith and honorable gesture to further the support for the contentious “Redskins” name.

Not surprising, the team has created a foundation that is courting Native communities, reaching out to tribal leadership, hiring natives to lobby for them in support of the name. We should not be so easily duped by their generous contributions. The message we should send is that our dignity and self-respect are not for sale. It’s worth much more than a few box seats at one of their games and token gestures of philanthropy throughout our Native communities.

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Kina Swayney: “Redskins”: Just a name? (The Cherokee One Feather 1/5)

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