Washington Redskin's Team Name Labeled Derogatory by Locals

Posted at: 10/26/2013 9:34 PM
Updated at: 10/27/2013 4:21 PM
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 News) -- "It's gotta stop," said Shadow Minto, a protester of the name Redskins.’"It’s a derogatory statement and if people understood what was behind that name then it should be changed."

The Washington Redskins have been a professional football team since 1932. Their name has been in tact since the beginning.

“The states had bounties on Native Americans for their skins and the term Redskin is offensive because of that," said Minto.

Minto has protested the name before, and says it should have been changed long ago.

"I don't think the name Redskins is derogatory, I think it's the fans can get a little carried away. I think it's disrespectful to make fun of someone else’s culture," said Lita Luke.

Luke says she does not like when fans do the “tomahawk chop” or seeing face paint smothered all over the faces of Redskins fans.

"It's kind of a lesson to learn about how different cultures can possibly insult other one without really thinking about it," said James Wilson with the Native American Center.

"There’s a lot of articles out there that talk about these bounties that people can earn by bringing in a Native American skin," said Minto. "Minnesota had a bounty on Native American's: men, women and children."

In a letter to Washington Redskins fans, team owner Dan Snyder said: "Washington Redskins is more than a name we have called our football team for more than 8 decades. It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride and respect. The same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded through their rich history as the original Americans."

There have been rumors of a possible name switch to the “Washington Bravehearts,” but those rumors have been denied by the Redskins organization.