It seems as though the debate over the name of the football team in Washington, D.C. keeps getting hotter. Recently, we had Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder defending the name of the team in a live press conference. However, it seems as though Snyder’s arguments have fallen on deaf ears to many, in particular the University of Minnesota.
For the next two seasons, the University of Minnesota will host the games of the Minnesota Vikings while the new stadium is being constructed. They have welcomed the Vikings with open arms, but don’t seem to have the same treatment for one of their scheduled 2014 opponents, the Washington Redskins. The game is scheduled to take place November 2nd at TCF Bank stadium, but if Univeristy of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has it his way, the Redskins could face some major issues for the game.
Kaler wrote a letter to U.S. Representative Betty McCollum discussing how the Redskins name is “offensive and should be replaced.”
From the sounds of things, there is a open dialogue between Kaler and the Vikings to “eliminate the use of Washington’s team name on game day.” In a letter to Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, Kaler had some harsh words concerning Washington’s squad. Here is a quote from the letter in a Star Tribune article:
“The time for debate has ended — the name of the Washington franchise is clearly an offensive racial slur,” McCollum wrote to Wilf. “I urge you, as an NFL team owner, to not remain silent on this matter any longer.”
In the letter to Wilf, Kaler also called the Redskins team name “that hateful slur” and mentioned that it hurts all of the NFL to allow the Redskins team name to be used because all of the NFL teams split the sales of their licensed merchandise equally.
Vikings executive vice president of public affairs went on record as recognizing the school’s effort to ban the use of the Redskins name on their campus in a conversation on Wednesday as reported by the Star Tribune:
“We take the issue very seriously, but we’re just getting ready for our season and we’ve been very focused on training camp and the preseason, and to be honest, we don’t have a game plan for our Nov. 2 game versus Washington,” Bagley said.
McCollum has gone as far as to say that the presence of the Redskins team at TCF Bank Stadium would violate the Board of Regents’ policies regarding affirmative action, diversity, and equal opportunity. She went on to say that the Shakoppe Mdewakanton Sioux helped pay for The Gopher Hole and would be an insult to them.
Bagley and the University of Minnesota had met once to discuss the issue in late July, but expect many more talks on the topics in the coming weeks.