Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation on Wednesday asked NFL executives to sanction Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder for conduct detrimental to the league for continuing to use a team nickname and mascot that “promote a dictionary-defined racial slur.”
noun [C] /ˈred.skɪn/ offensive
During the meeting, Oneida representatives presented league executives with a copy of an Oneida-commissioned, 30-page study that examined whether a “scientific rationale” existed for the stance that the Redskins’ team mascot harms Native Americans. The conclusion is that it does. According to the study:
• The Redskins contribute to “prejudice and discrimination” against Native Americans by using the team name and mascot, which would be considered harassment or bullying in a workplace or if used interpersonally.
• Tests have shown that the presence of Native American mascots results directly in lower self-esteem and lower mood within this population, as well as increased negative associations of Native Americans among non-Native American groups. Importantly, these effects occur regardless of whether the Native American mascot is considered “offensive.”
• Racial slurs, racial harassment and racial bullying have been associated with poor mental health among Native American children, adolescents and adults, according to study author Michael A. Friedman, a clinical psychologist specializing in how social environment can influence mental and physical health.
“Native Americans are the only group in the United States subjected to having a racial slur as the mascot of a prominent professional sports team,” Friedman wrote in his study. “The Washington football team, whether it intends to do so or not, is contributing to prejudice and discrimination against Native Americans by persisting in using the ‘R-word.’ With the help of the National Football League’s $9 billion a year global marketing machine, this behavior not only repeatedly exposes Native Americans to a harmful stereotype, but also implicitly condones the use of this term by non-Native Americans, which if performed on an interpersonal level would possibly constitute harassment or bullying.”
“People ask, ‘Why now?’ but Native Americans have protested against this nickname for 40 years,” Friedman said in an interview. “There are 10 different studies showing the direct causal effects on Native Americans and how it creates a racially hostile environment.”
Friedman said that in the past 25 years, 28 U.S. high schools have dropped Redskins as a nickname.
Shame, shame, shame on you, Washington.