WASHINGTON — People are responding negatively to the Washington Redskins on social media after the team participated in the #BlackOutTuesday initiative that is helping bring awareness to social injustice and police brutality after the killing of George Floyd last week.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, the Redskins media team posted a black square on its Twitter page, and many shared on social media how "Redskins" has been used to degrade those in the Native American community. Some even responded to the post about how the team's name is disparaging to those in the Native American community.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the Redskins post to her personal Twitter page and said, "Want to really stand for racial justice? Change your name."
The Washington Redskins have been a part of the National Football League since the 1930s and have been called out about using the term "Redskins" for decades.
The National Congress of American Indians of the United States (NCAI) has called for the Redskins to not return to play in the District (their current stadium is in Maryland) until the team changes its name.
"The use of the R-word as the name and mascot of the Washington National Football League team is offensive and hurtful to American Indian and Alaska Native people and causes direct, harmful effects on the physical and mental health and academic achievement of the American Indian and Alaska Native populations, particularly youth," said the NCAI in its statement.
The #BlackOutTuesday response is part of "Justice for George Floyd" protests sparked after video surfaced showing George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer.
Protests erupted nationwide after a Memorial Day viral video showed Floyd being pinned down by his neck by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd, who is repeatedly heard in the video saying he can't breath and asking for Chauvin to get off his neck, died that day.
The Minneapolis mayor last Tuesday fired all four officers involved in the incident. On Friday, Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. But the other three officers who were involved in the incident have not yet been arrested or charged, with prosecutors in Minnesota on Friday saying that charges are likely forthcoming.