WASHINGTON — A group of Washington Redskins fans and former players who have come together in an online community known as RedskinsFacts.com released a video this week in which several Native Americans stated they were not offended by the team’s nickname and would rather focus on other issues impacting their community.
“I feel like it’s too insignificant when there’s bigger topics to talk about in Indian country,” Amanda Kay Not Afraid, a member of the Crow Nation, said in the video. Others interviewed in the video mentioned health care, crime, jobs and drug abuse among their concerns.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six trademarks belonging to the football team on saying they are offensive to Native Americans. The decision came in response to a suit brought by five Native Americans.
The team has faced mounting pressure in recent years to ditch its name altogether, which some consider a slur against Native Americans.
In May, 49 senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, signed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that the “team is on the wrong side of history,” and that he should endorse a name change.
A week later, a coalition of 77 tribal, civil rights and religious groups, including the National Congress of American Indians and the NAACP, signed a letter urging players to campaign to change the team’s mascot.
“We believe the Redskins name deserves to stay. It epitomizes all the noble qualities we admire about Native Americans,” RedskinsFacts.com posted online. “None of us believe in offending or discriminating against people of any ethnicity for any reason.”
(The CNN Wire contributed to this report)