American Indian activists pushing to ban the broadcast or display of the Washington Redskins’ nickname and logo when the NFL team visits the Metrodome Nov. 7 have announced details of a rally leading up to the game.
Organizers of a campaign to “Change The Name, Change The Mascot” plan to gather at 4:30 p.m. on game day at the American Indian Movement’s national office at 1113 E. Franklin Avenue and lead a march to the stadium, where they will rally outside in the hour before Washington and the Vikings square off.
Former 10,000-meter Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills and Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum are among the scheduled speakers.
Details of the march and rally come just days after several American Indian activists, including AIM founder and longtime leader Clyde Bellecourt, asked the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which operates the Metrodome, to bar the broadcast or display of the Washington nickname in public places throughout the stadium on game night. Bellecourt and others have argued that the term and logo are demeaning, hurtful and racist.
The stadium authority, however, declined the request after its attorney advised it that blocking the use and display of the name and logo could infringe on freedom of speech.
“Change The Name” organizers also announced Monday plans for a two-day exhibit at the University of Minnesota that will display “the good, the bad and the ugly” of Native American imagery, said Richie Plass, the exhibit founder and a member of the Menominee/Stockbridge-Munsee tribes in northern Wisconsin.
The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6 in room 234 of Coffman Memorial Union.
A symposium on "Racism in Sports and Media" also has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at Coffman's President's Room.