University Of Minnesota Might Ban ‘Redskins’ When Team Comes To Town

AP

The University of Minnesota is taking steps to keep the Washington Redskins name off “promotional and game date materials” when the team visits Minneapolis in November.

According to the Washington Post, Eric Kaler, the university’s president, told Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) in a letter that the school is working with the Minnesota Vikings on the matter.

The Redskins will play the Vikings on Nov. 2 at TCF Bank Stadium on the university’s Minneapolis campus. (The Vikings will play at the outdoor facility for the next two seasons while its new stadium is being built.)

McCollum sent a letter in June to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, urging the team to take a stand against what she described as “clearly an offensive racial slur.”

The Democratic lawmaker contended that the “presence of the Washington franchise and their racist name on the University of Minnesota campus would be in violation of the Board of Regents’ Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Policy.”

“Mr. Wilf, I believe you are a man of integrity,” she wrote. “Therefore I am calling upon you to publically (sic) demonstrate leadership on behalf of your organization and the people of Minnesota by adding your voice to the millions of Americans who are calling for this racist mascot to be changed and for Native Americans to be treated with respect and dignity by the NFL.”

In his response to McCollum, Kaler said that the university is “working with the Vikings to make every effort to eliminate the use of Washington’s team name” when the two teams play.

The university’s action is the latest in a growing number of protests against Washington’s racially charged name, but it’s still unclear what the home team will do.

Lester Bagley, the Vikings’ executive vice president of public affairs, told WaPo on Wednesday that the team takes “the issue very seriously” but is still determining how it will respond.

Tony Wyllie, a spokesperson for the Redskins, told WaPo that the team disagrees with the university’s effort.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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