GREEN BAY, Wis. – About two dozen members of varying American Indian tribes stood in the rain before Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field, protesting Washington’s use of the team name “Redskins” outside the stadium.
Chilly and wet conditions likely kept away many of those planning to demonstrate, organizer Clif Morton said. But he added that he hoped the group’s location, at a corner along Washington’s bus route to the stadium, would garner attention – including that of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has vowed to never change his team’s name.
“Mr. Snyder thinks that he’s in control of more than he’s in actual control of,” Morton said. “The people will speak on this issue, more and more people.”
A Green Bay Packers spokesman said the group had been granted permission this past week to hold its demonstration on team property.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on a Washington radio show this past week, saying that “if one person is offended, we have to listen” to suggestions the name should be changed.
“We’re trying to get the attention of Dan Snyder,” said Ken Munson, a demonstrator who described himself as a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. “We’ve gotten the attention of Roger Goodell.”
On Sunday, the group – Morton said a group of about 170 gathered Friday at an all-day forum in Green Bay to discuss the issue, adding that he hoped for as large a number outside Lambeau – held signs and distributed flyers describing what Morton called a “racist legacy.”
He said a group of about 32 Redskins fans passed the demonstrators. Although many of the fans ignored the group or said it was wasting its time, Morton said six took flyers with them into the stadium.
“Well, six out of 32, that’s a pretty good number,” he said.
Still, Munson said he believed future groups would be larger as others are informed about the matter.
“The percentage of people who care about this issue now is the smallest it’s ever going to be again,” he said.
Morton said another demonstration would take place in Minnesota in early November, when Washington visits the Vikings.
“As the numbers grow,” Morton said, “first in the tens and then in the thousands, Mr. Snyder will need to listen.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.
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