MINNEAPOLIS – Demonstrators marched to the Metrodome on Thursday, demanding the Washington Redskins drop their mascot name or continue to face protests and legal challenges.
Carrying signs that read, “We Are Not Mascots” and “Redskin: A Dehumanizing Racial Slur,” about 700 protesters marched from the American Indian Movement national office about 20 blocks to the Dome, where the Vikings played Washington on Thursday night.
Among the demonstrators were Billy Mills, a Sioux Indian who won the 10,000-meter gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics; U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, who has led a contingent of congressional representatives who oppose the name, and Joey Browner, a former Minnesota Viking and Pro Bowl player.
The march and demonstration capped several days of public opposition. Clyde Bellecourt of Minneapolis, a founder of AIM and a leader of the protest, told reporters on Wednesday that “The R-word is no different from the N-word.” He said, “We want the R-word completely erased from the memory of the NFL.”