Group asks Metrodome not to use Redskins' name, logo at Vikings game


The advocacy group Change The Mascot is using an anti-Redskins logo as part of its effort to get the Washington football team to end of the use of name. (photo -- ChangeTheMascot.org)

The Minneapolis-based American Indian Movement is demanding the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority not print or broadcast the Washington Redskins' name and logo when the team plays the Vikings at the Metrodome Nov. 7, the Star Tribune reports.

An activist who co-wrote the letter claims if the name or logo is used during the game -- since it is happening in a public facility -- it violates labor laws, hate-speech protections and the civil rights of American Indians, the paper says.

Alan Yelsey said that there's "no difference between the R-word and the N-word."

MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen says the "NFL has specific rules" when teams play in the Metrodome and they are exploring the issue with their attorneys and the league.

The American Indian Movement's protest was inspired by the activist group Change the Mascot, a campaign that targets American Indian Mascots started by the Oneida Nation of New York.

Word of the protest comes after Redskins owner Daniel Snyder defended the Redskins' name and logo earlier this week in a passionate open letter to fans, the Washington Post reports.

Snyder said while he respects the opinions of "those who are offended by the team name," that "we cannot ignore our 81-year-history."

The paper said Snyder's letter took a softer stance than he did in May, when he told USA Today, "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."

According to the Star Tribune, the American Indian Movement plans on sending letters to Twin Cities media outlets to urge them -- also under the threat of legal action -- not to use the Redskins name.

The group also plans on staging a protest outside the Metrodome Nov. 7, where the teams will be playing a Thursday night game that will be broadcast on the NFL Network.

A member of the Menominee Nation in northeastern Wisconsin tells Minnesota Public Radio that the protest won't be a "fist in the air type of situation."

"It's just education, and to let you know that there are many of us, Native Americans, do not support that name at all," Richie Plass tells MPR.

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