Retiring 'Redskins' Hopefully Inspires Other Teams, Chicago Group Says

Andy Dahn
July 13, 2020 - 7:11 pm
Washington Redskins Soon To Be Gone

Ed Zierle of Annapolis, Maryland, poses for his wife Wendy Zierle with his bags of newly purchased merchandise from the Washington Redskins Hall of Fame Store at FedEx Field July 13, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. A fan of the football team for more than 40 years, Zierle spent several hundred dollars at the store after the team announced Monday that owner Daniel Snyder and coach Ron Rivera are working on finding a replacement for its racist name and logo after 87 years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- With Washington’s NFL franchise officially announcing a name change, a local Native American organization is hoping the move is just the start that inspires high schools take notice.

Heather Miller with the American Indian Center of Chicago said while she’s thrilled about the name change — something she thought she’d never see in her lifetime — there’s now a sense of anxiety.

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“It just concerns me that they might come back with some as equally stupid,” Miller said. “Something like ‘Warriors’ or ‘Braves.’ It’s just offensive.”

Miller said the group’s stance on mascots is crystal clear: “Race-based mascots are ridiculous on any front.”

And while she concedes the NFL’s decision is likely motivated by finances rather than a sign of societal change, the Chicago Blackhawks and several Illinois high schools with Native American mascots should take the hint.

“Build a relationship with the Native community,” she said. “Find out ways to actually honor and celebrate us. Treat others with respect. That’s all we’re asking for.”

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