Redskins owner Dan Snyder sits in his box seats with Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

Via Fox News

Redskins owner Dan Snyder sits in his box seats with Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

Protesters March Against Redskins; Snyder Still Wooing Natives

At least 150 protesters, led by Amanda Blackhorse — the lead plaintiff in the trademark lawsuit that led to the cancellation of billionaire NFL owner Dan Snyder’s trademarks on the Washington football team’s name – gathered to protest the name Redskins in Glendale, Arizona, during Sunday’s NFL football game, Cardinals vs. Redskins.

The protesters began with a prayer led by Tohono O’odham elders and marched to University of Phoenix Stadium where luminaries like poet and writer Simon Ortiz (Acoma) spoke to the crowd about racism, colonization and against the use of Native people as mascots.

When Blackhorse spoke to the crowd, she said, “We are not here to fight amongst ourselves. We are not here to call them names or anything like that. We are here to raise awareness.”

ICTMN reported in an earlier story that Zuni Tribal Governor Arlen Quetawki Sr. would attend Sunday’s game as Snyder’s guest. Quetawki was allegedly given at least 250 tickets by Snyder for tribal members to attend, including Navajo students and staff from Red Mesa High School (whose mascot is also the Redskins). 

Navajo/Dine protesters hold up signs during a Redskins protest in Glendale, Arizona on  October 12, 2014. (Ron Jackson)

Ron Jackson

Navajo/Dine protesters hold up signs during a Redskins protest in Glendale, Arizona on October 12, 2014.

The students were bused to the game courtesy of Mr. Snyder.

Protesters line the street to rally against the R-word during a Redskins/Cardinals game in Glendale, Arizona (Ron Jackson)

Ron Jackson

Protesters line the street to rally against the R-word during a Redskins/Cardinals game in Glendale, Arizona

Snyder also hosted a tailgating party for his Native American guests, and Native people were seen heading to their seats with free Redskins jerseys, hats (some signed) and even children with other merchandise, which reportedly included iPads (ICTMN will follow up with a report). And Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly was in a private box seated next to Dan Snyder during a portion of the game. Attendees were also encourage to make signs stating their tribal affiliation and how they supported the Redskins.

RELATED: Native Groups to Protest Sunday’s Redskins Game in Arizona

RELATED: Navajo Nation Officially Joins Fight Against Redskins Mascot

RELATED: Navajo Council Member Introduces Anti-Redskins Bill

Kenrick Escalanti, Quechuan brought his tribe’s lightening crew of young men to the protest. They experienced hateful comments by Redskins fans—even from a young 7-year old boy. When Escalanti told his parents that they were teaching their son to support racism, they were at first defensive, but later apologized. He said, “It’s like going back in time and seeing racism, Martin Luther King’s era, and seeing little kids who don’t know any better supporting racism.”

Navajo Nation councilman Joshua Lavar Butler and author of the Navajo Nation’s resolution against the Redskins name told ICTMN, “In light of today’s actions by my Nation’s president, I am sad to say that while disappointing, it is by no means surprising.

A protester rallies against the R-word in Glendale, Arizona on October 12, 2014. (Ron Jackson)

Ron Jackson

A protester rallies against the R-word in Glendale, Arizona on October 12, 2014.

It brings to mind an astute observation by the celebrated writer Sherman Alexie, that when the Native community sees our own people supporting the Redskins team name, we must remember that Custer and Kit Carson also had their ‘Indian scouts.’

Jacqueline Keeler is a leader of EONM, one of the groups that participated in Sunday’s protests.

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Protesters March Against Redskins; Snyder Still Wooing Natives

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