Members of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Quaker Indian Affairs approved a formal statement condemning the name of the Washington football team. The statement formally urges the football team to change its name and the members use the NFL Rule Book to make their case.
Read their full statement below:
The National Football League's published mission and values include these statements:
· We create an organization that represents, supports and celebrates diversity, while also embracing our shared interests.
· We represent and respect a wide range of human differences, personal experiences and cultural backgrounds for the benefit of the organization and our employees as individuals.
· We recognize that the NFL's traditions are an asset, but we also embrace change.
· We balance the need to change with the utmost respect for what has been accomplished.
· We are thoughtful and deliberate in our thinking, and always consider the long-term consequences of our decisions.
The NFL Rule Book, Section 3, also prohibits "using abusive, threatening or insulting language" and "using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will."
But the NFL has violated its core principles for decades by allowing the team playing in Washington, D.C., to carry the name 'redskins,' a racist epithet that insults millions of Native Americans. Continued use of the term encourages and perpetuates persecution, disrespect, and bigotry against Native men, women, and children.
This one word has encouraged the performance of demeaning, racist halftime theatrics. Whether the performance is idealized or comical, reducing human beings to mere mascots — team toys —is itself belittling, inviting and allowing disrespect to Native peoples and their cultures. The image featured on the team logo fosters stereotyping that denies and misrepresents the culture and life of the many tribes of Native Americans.
Moreover, both players and team employees are also harmed and dehumanized by being forced to use a racist term as the team name; this continues to violate the fundamental principles of integrity and respect embodied in the NFL rules.
Minute approved by Baltimore Yearly Meeting at Interim Meeting, Sixth Month, 21st, 2014
For more than 200 years the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has sought to support the concerns of Native Americans. We unite with the efforts of all who have called for the name of the Washington, D.C. football team to be changed. We call upon team owner Daniel Snyder, team president and general manager Bruce Allen, National Football League commissioner Roger S. Goodell, the National Football League Management Council, and the National Football League Players Association to change the name of the team to one that does not demean or misrepresent anyone's ethnicity or culture, and to create a team logo that upholds the values that the NFL has said it supports.