Washington Redskins name opponents are staging a rally Sunday morning near FedEx Field, the first significant protest targeting the team’s stadium and its most fervent fans and moniker defenders.
M0re than 100 people — a number less than organizers hoped for — gathered in a grass lot across from Jericho City of Praise, a church about one-third of a mile east of the stadium, where the Redskins are playing the Cowboys at 1 p.m. The lot is surrounded by yellow caution tape and police are stationed on each side. Across the street just east of them, fans barbecued and tossed footballs in a parking lot. Some stared.
Earlier this morning, organizers had decided not to march around the church, as originally planned, and to stage the entire rally inside the empty lot. But then there was another change of plans: The march was on. The bus bringing many of the protesters had gotten lost, but finally arrived.
At one point, the march halted traffic headed toward the stadium.
The rally has been mostly peaceful, but at least one Redskins fan expressed discontent, shouting expletives at protesters.
As at a large protest earlier in the season in Minnesota, most people are wearing burgundy and gold shirts with words written on the front in Redskins font: “RENAME, RETHINK, REPLACE.”
A few fans holding signs — “STOP THE RACISM”; “CHANGE THE NAME” — also lined up along the sidewalk.
There was another event nearby going on at the same time — a fundraiser that infuriated the organizer of the name rally. The original name of the other event, which was changed after The Washington Post reported it, was “Scalp Out Cancer: Because Bald is Beautiful.”
“Scalp” was replaced with “Shave.”
This post has been updated.