Hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters rallied outside the Metrodome Thursday night to demand the Washington Redskins change the team’s name, calling it racist and disrespectful.
Carrying flags, signs and staffs and led by American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt, the crowd marched to the downtown stadium to hear speakers before the Minnesota Vikings played Washington.
Opponents call the Redskins’ name offensive to Native Americans. As drums beat, protesters chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Little Red Sambo’s got to go.” Some carried signs with messages including “We are not cartoons! Respect us!” and “Racism is unsportsmanlike conduct.”
Mario McBrogan, 24, of Minneapolis, who is Cherokee, was there to watch the game and to support changing the Redskins’ name. He said the name should be changed “out of respect to every Native American.”
Other teams have dropped Indian mascots and names, McBrogan said. “So I don’t understand why they (the Redskins) shouldn’t have to change their name. It’s obviously offensive to a culture,” he said.