The protests over the years regarding some professional sports teams using images and references that played on the stereotypes of Native Americans have led to several teams making recent changes.
The Cleveland Indians have recently eliminated the Indians moniker and replaced it with Guardians. Meanwhile the Washington Redskins bowed to public pressure and stopped using the moniker (Although they haven’t replaced the team name yet, they are temporarily calling themselves the Washington Football Team).
Now, the National Football League’s Washington Football Team has taken another step to take away the stigma of the same stereotypes that they have incorporated into the team’s culture for many years.
With the announcement of allowing fans back to the stadium this upcoming season after the banning of an audience during the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve also announced updated stadium policies and protocols for games and events at FedExField for the 2021 season. With that announcement, the team has stated that the tradition of wearing headdresses and face paint is no longer allowed within the FedExField stadium anymore.
“We are excited to welcome everyone back wearing their Burgundy & Gold. However, Native American inspired ceremonial headdresses or face paint may no longer be worn into the stadium.”
“It’s no secret why we began this journey of finding a new brand identity. It centered around our old name and its use of Native American imagery and racialized language. Though I wasn’t here for the rescinding of the name, I believe it was done with faith that the connective ties of this fan base run deep and that the deeply loved traditions and positive aspects of our identity can be preserved and even enhanced under a new name that does not offend any member of our community. Quite simply, it is the right thing to do.”