DENVER (CBS4) – NFL officials will meet on Monday with a Native American group that’s protesting the name of Washington’s football team, and there is speculation that steps are being taken to give the Redskins a new name.
The Redskins will play the Denver Broncos on Sunday and radio ads sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation have been playing in Denver protesting that name and asking for it to be changed.
There are some sports reporters who won’t say the name Washington Redskins, but instead refer to them as the NFL team in Washington. The name controversy isn’t new, but there are new indications a name change is very possible.
A registered application for the name “Washington Bravehearts” was received by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week. The NFL team in Washington has said it has nothing to do with the application, but the man who signed the paperwork is Aris Mardirossian, a close friend of Redskin’s team owner Dan Snyder.
“The term ‘redskin’ is a dictionary-defined racial slur if you look in the Oxford Dictionary,” Joel Barkin with the Oneida Indian Nation told CBS4.
Native American Carmen Clifford from Colorado agrees.
“Because we’re not redskins, we’re human beings just like anyone else,” Clifford said.
Protesters demanding the name change are expected outside the Sports Authority Field at Mile High for Sunday’s game.
CBS4’s Jodi Brooks asked some football fans about the new possible name “Bravehearts.”
“I’d probably think of the movie with Mel Gibson,” Michael Janzen from New Mexico said. “I like the Redskins better.”
When looking up “Bravehearts” online Mel Gibson comes up as well as the East Coast hip hop group The Bravehearts and “Bravehearts for Brave Girls,” a campaign slogan for Keds shoes.
“I think the name Braveheart sounds kind of stupid,” football fan Jason Janzen said.
The Janzen family is in Denver for the Sunday’s game. They’re Native American and say when it comes to the name Redskins, they’re not offended.
“I don’t take no offense to it. I don’t think anybody else should. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Damian Janzen said.
In Colorado there are currently 11 high schools using the name “Indians” and one with the name “Redskins.”