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Knight Hall panel discusses controversy surrounding Redskins’ namepanelist Tara Houska, a member of the Couchiching tribe and founder of Not Your Mascots

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Sung-Min Kim/The Diamondback

Only one person in the crowd of about 100 gathered in Knight Hall’s Eaton Theater yesterday night said that the Washington Redskins should not change their name.

He is former Redskins player Ray Schoenke, one of six panelists who shared their opinions on the issue at the “Controversy Over a Name: Washington’s NFL Team” event presented by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism.

“I do not look upon the name as a racial slur,” he said during the panel, adding that he was a history major in college. “I studied that word. I know what it meant. It was descriptive … I’ve always been in support of the name.”

But panelist Tara Houska, a member of the Couchiching tribe and founder of Not Your Mascot, said the name has a negative effect on the self-esteem of Native American children.

“You dress up as us,” she said. “That is so offensive. How do you not understand that?”

Houska and Schoenke went head to head throughout the panel. At one point Houska asked the former offensive lineman whether he would call her a “redskin” to her face.

“Yes,” he responded. “It’s a descriptive word.”  

Schoenke said Native Americans should take advantage of being part of an industry as economically powerful as the NFL and try to get Redskins owner Dan Snyder to invest money into combating some of the problems prevalent on Native American reservations, such as alcoholism, poverty and suicide.

Other panelists said they do not see Snyder helping the Native Americans economically as a feasible possibility because he has not shown any interest before.

If the name were changed, Schoenke said, it would not fix any of the problems facing the Native American population.

Houska and several Native American audience members disagreed.

Joe Horse Capture, who belongs to the A’aninin tribe, said the poor economic conditions on reservations exist because businesses in the surrounding communities aren’t investing in them.

“The Redskins [name] is one symptom of what has happened to Native Americans over the past 30, 40 years. What has happened is ‘White America’ has been brainwashed to look at Native Americans as ‘un-people.’ They’ve ‘un-peopled’ them,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why nobody is investing into Native Americans because it doesn’t really matter.”

Horse Capture said changing the name, which he called disrespectful, would be one step in the process of Native Americans gaining respect from people of other races.

Panelist Dave Owens, a WUSA-TV sports commentator, said the name should be changed because there are enough people out there who want it to be.

Owens said resistance to change comes down to power.

“Powerful people — in this case, Dan Snyder, and other owners and the commissioner — don’t want to see it happen because if a small group can do that, holy s—, what else can they possibly do?” he said.

Washington Post columnist Mike Wise said Snyder’s cooperation could help solve the conflict more quickly.

“I just wish Dan Snyder and others would put themselves in the shoes of Native Americans who say they are harmed by this,” he said. “If that happens, I think we can really have change. The fact that he is unwilling to meet with the offended and just have a conversation … bothers me to no end.”

Panelist and USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, who used to cover the team for The Washington Post, predicted the team’s name will change in the next five years.

“It’s an important cultural marker. I see it in a bigger historical view,” she said. “It will change; there is no doubt about that. This is the way history marches, and then our society moves forward.”

sdeandbk@gmail.com | @sarahdeanjourn


Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska
 added 4 new photos. Yesterday at 7:33am · 

Last night’s debate, hosted by the Povich cCenter for sports journalism. panelists: Andy Pollin (ESPN), Dave Owens (WUSA), Ray Schoenke (former redsk*ns player), Christine Brennan (USA today), mike wise (wash post), and yours truly. 
top moments: 
1. Older gent approaches me after “i’ve been a fan for 45 yrs, after hearing you speak, the name needs to change. i don’t care if only 5 natives are offended, it’s not right.”

2. Getting former redsk*ns player Ray Schoenke to say that he would call me a redsk*n to my face. (he didn’t)

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Image Is Our youth Brett of Oglala and Mnicoujou Lakota, grandson to famous leader Crazy Horse and Brings Plenty…) - Designed by LittleRedfeather

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In celebration of Super Bowl 50 and Courtyard, I took the incredible “You like that” Redskins QB Kirk Cousins around San Francisco and we quickly became best friends.

GARCON BREAKS MONK’S REDSKINS SEASON CATCH RECORD - Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon has broken Hall of Famer Art Monk’s franchise record for catches in a season by grabbing his 107th.

Garcon’s 11th reception of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, a 19-yard gain, came with about six minutes left in the third quarter. That gave Garcon one more catch than the 106 Monk had in 1984.

Garcon tied Monk’s team mark in the third quarter with an 8-yard touchdown catch from Kirk Cousins.

Garcon entered Sunday with 96 catches for 1,146 yards and four touchdowns this season, his second in Washington after leaving the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent.

Leverage point: Redskins want public money for new stadium, but not enough to change name?
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The Washington Redskins want public money for a new stadium to replace their, eh, well, not exactly old stadium at FedEx Field. Which is another thing that is wrong with sports for another day. But today, the thing wrong with sports in regard to this story is that the team wants public money with no strings attached related to the controversial team nickname. “No.” That was the short answer from…

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Washington Redskins have invited Cortland’s Gabe Ostrow to mini camp

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Today the Washington Redskins invited Cortland defensive wall Gabe Ostrow to their rookie mini camp.  Ostrow posted it on his Facebook account. 

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Gabe Ostrow of Cortland has been invited to Redskins mini camp

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#ProudToBe #NativeAmerican - “Native Americans call themselves many things … the one thing they don’t …”



#ChangeTheMascot NFL Washington Redskins for I am #NotYourMascot #SuperBowl hall of shame - #NFL #Redskins is #Racist / #Racebased.

Photos by Michael Pecosky, Ivy Vainio and Wendi Kent - Madison, Wisconsin.

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I seriously can’t get RG3’s goofy rap song out of my head: http://yhoo.it/1576i1o

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Redskins release tight end Je'Ron Hamm; Promote CB from practice squad

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Washington Redskins have made a roster move

The Washington Redskins are in the playoffs, and they technically do not have to start any starters this week, because they are already locked in as the winners of the NFC East.  That did not stop them though. The team announced a small roster move according to Hogs Haven.

Jeremy Harris(6’2″, 185 lbs) has been signed from the practice squad, and TE Je’Ron Hamm has been released.  Harris was drafted in 2013 by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 7th round out of New Mexico State. He has bounced around several practice squads during his three years in the league, going to the Chiefs, Jets, and finally the Redskins before being signed to their active roster today. He was on the Jaguars active roster last season, and recorded 5 tackles in the 6 games he played.

Je’Ron Hamm has only been active for 1 game of the 5 games he has been on the Redskins roster this season, and did not record an offensive stat.  

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“In 1961, the Washington Redskins were under pressure from the Kennedy Administration to integrate and end its policy of excluding athletes of color. In response, the American Nazi party held a demonstration under the banner "Mr. Marshall Keep the Redskins White” Don’t buy into the illusion that “Indian” mascots have ever had anything to do with “honoring” Native peoples. These mascots have always had more to do with imperialist nostalgia, a mood of nostalgia that makes racial domination appear innocent and pure, than actual honor for Native peoples. You will notice that so called mascot die hards are more attached to a symbol than actual living real Native peoples. Don’t take LRI’s word for it, just go read the comments section of any “major” media outlet running stories on ending mascots and compare those to the comment sections when issues like KXL, fracking, or other serious issues facing Natives are discussed. Racism = Racism. Period".

(Reposted Last Real Indians)

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1961 Washington Redskins are NFL’s last segregated team

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Redskins will remove thousands of seats from their stadium for the 3rd time in 5 years

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Will Robert Griffin III ever return to his rookie form for the Redskins?

The Washington Redskins once had the largest stadium in the entire NFL, but over the past five seasons, the team has taken out thousands of seats numerous times. 

The Washington Redskins, who a couple years ago had a waiting list for season tickets of more than 200,000 names, have removed thousands of seats from FedEx Field.

The team listed its stadium capacity at 85,000 last season, but attendance never topped 81,000 and averaged less than 78,000. The Redskins led the NFL with an average attendance of 88,090 in 2007 but have averaged fewer than 80,000 four seasons in a row.

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Oneida Nation members protest Washington team name outside Lambeau | Door County Advocate

Oneida Nation members gathered outside Lambeau Field Sunday to protest the Washington Redskins’ team name. (Sunday, Sept. 15)

Oneida Nation members protest Washington team name outside Lambeau: Oneida Nation members gathered outside Lambeau Field Sunday to protest the Washington Redskins’ team name. (Sunday, Sept. 15)

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Redskins have signed defensive tackle Jerrell Powe

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Redskins have signed former Ole Miss defensive tackle Jerrell Powe

The Redskins have signed fifth-year nose tackle Jerrell Powe, who played most recently for the Houston Texans, according to the NFL’s daily transaction report.

The 6-foot-2, 331-pound Powe entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs out of Ole Miss in 2011.

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