redacted-team-name-protestBy Theresa Vargas, Washington Post

Hours before the Washington Redskins stepped onto FedEx Field on Monday night to play the San Francisco 49ers, a group of African American, Latino and Native American leaders stood with their backs to the stadium and said the time had come for the team to change its name.

The news conference, attended by representatives of CASA of Maryland, Blacks in Government, the Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP and other groups, marked a rare showing of solidarity on a divisive issue that has sparked a national discussion about race and language.

“This is an American issue,” Hakim Muhammad, of the Coalition of Prince George’s County Leaders and Organizations, said Monday. “When you have a name that is disparaging to any nation of people, it affects all of us. Period.”

Zorayda Moreira-Smith, of CASA of Maryland, said it was “unacceptable” and “disgusting” that this was still an issue in 2013. She questioned how people would react if the team’s name reflected a slur against any other race. …

Others have already voiced opposition to the team’s name. This month, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, issued a statement urging Snyder to “recognize the hurt he is causing to Native Americans and the harm such stereotypical portrayals do to our nation’s ideals of inclusion and respect for all citizens, regardless of their racial, ethnic or religious background.” Before that, President Obama raised questions about the team’s name and the National Congress of American Indians spoke out against it. (Read more)

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