Target pulls Washington Redskins merchandise from its online stores

Major retailer Target has pulled Washington Redskins merchandise from its online store as the NFL team faces renewed pressure from investors who oppose the name's racist connotations. Rich Schultz/Getty Images

NAVAJO NATION (3TV/CBS 5) – "July 13, 2020, is now a historic day for all Indigenous peoples around the world as the NFL Washington-based team officially announced the retirement of the racist and disparaging 'Redskins' team name and logo," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer said in a statement Monday morning.

The reaction, which was posted on Facebook, came just hours after the team's announcement that it is dropping the name by which it had been known for 87 years. Nez and Lizer say that the Navajo Nation is thankful for the change and commended everyone who worked to make it happen.  

Washington NFL team dropping 'Redskins' name after 87 years

"This change did not come about willingly by the team’s owners, but by the mounting pressure and advocacy of Indigenous peoples such as Amanda Blackhorse, and many other warriors who fought long and hard for this change," reads the statement.

Native American advocates and experts have long criticized the name they call a “dictionary-defined racial slur.” Over a dozen Native leaders and organizations wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week demanding an immediate end to Washington’s use of the name. 
 
"For generations, this team name and logo has misrepresented the true history and events that define the term 'redskins,'" explains the statement from the Navajo National. "History tells us that the term 'redskins' derived from bounty hunters, which identified Indigenous peoples by the color of their skin. Bounties were offered for the murder of Native Americans. Bounty hunters killed Native Americans, referenced as 'redskins,' and brought to the market the stained bloodied scalps in exchange for payment. This is the tragic and disgusting history that the world is not often told."
 
It's not clear when or how the Washington team will be rebranded, but Nez and Lizer offered a suggestion.
 
"Renaming the team 'Code Talkers' to honor the Navajo Code Talkers, and other tribal nations who used their sacred language to help win World War II, would set the team on a path to restoring its reputation and correcting the historical misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples," they said in their statement.
 
 

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