A Native American organization threatened the Washington Commanders with an Anheuser Busch-like boycott unless they change the team name back to the Redskins.
The Native American Guardians Association (NAGA) sent an open letter to the team’s new owners, the Harris group, who bought the franchise for a staggering $6.05 billion from scandal plagued former owner Dan Synder last month.
The missive, which was posted to Twitter on Monday, formally requested that “the team revitalize it’s relationship with the American Indian community” by “rightfully” changing the name from Commanders back to the Redskins.
The letter addressed the concerning trend of “cancel culture” that has negatively impacted the Native American population and erased their significant contributions to the country’s history.
🚨BREAKING: Native American Guardian’s Association Founder & President Eunice Davidson Sent a Demand Letter Today to Washington "Commanders" Ownership & Key Leadership Formally Requesting The Team Revitalize it's Relationship With The American Indian Community & Rightfully Change… pic.twitter.com/cpau4hVq6H
— Native American Guardians Association (@GuardiansNative) August 7, 2023
“Americans see they are losing their rights because of a vicious cancel culture that shows little care for their concerns of civil liberties,” the message reads.
“It is time to support leaders, brands, and organizations who will stand with every American, rather than fighting against them.”
It highlighted the historical connection between the Washington football team and the Native American community, dating back when their name was the Boston Braves and coached by a Native American in 1932.
The team was renamed the Redskins in 1933 and subsequently won five NFL championships and three Super Bowls in the 87 years under the moniker.
The Native American Guardians Association is made a formal request for the team to reclaim the name “The Redskins,” recognizing the original inhabitants of the country.
Terry is just so good at football pic.twitter.com/JIoJ4laUfe
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 9, 2023
Additionally, they urged the team to use its name and legacy to promote the exploration and understanding of America’s tribal history, instead of succumbing to the trend of erasure.
The letter further warns that if necessary, a national Bud Light-level boycott will be initiated to encourage the name change.
“Should we need to encourage a national boycott similar to what happened with Anheuser Busch (Bud Light),” they continued.
“Which is now down $27 billion (note, not one brick thrown, not one highway blocked, not one bridge burned) — WE WILL DO JUST THAT.”
— Washington Redskins (@WashRadskins) August 5, 2023
The letter asserted that in 2023, the acceptance of oppression and the disregard of U.S. history and Constitutional rights is simply not acceptable.
The association remains steadfast in their commitment to stand their ground and stresses the importance of acknowledging history to prevent repeating past mistakes.
“If you don’t acknowledge history, we are doomed to repeat it,” they wrote. “The coin has been tossed; we choose to honor and defend.”
A Change.org petition urging the Commanders to “reclaim the name Redskins” has garnered more than 75,000 signatures since it was created in June.
In 2020, Washington Commanders announced the removal of the name “Redskins” following pressure from the cancel culture movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said in July 2020.
“He has got a problem he can’t get around — and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”
Lawmakers at the time threatened to refuse to let the team relocate from Maryland’s FedEx Field unless they would commit to a name change.
“There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name,” stated former D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio at the time.
The team later announced their new name, Washington Commanders, in February 2022, but in July, minority stake holder Earvin “Magic” Johnson teased another moniker change in the future.
“I think everything’s on the table, especially after this year,” Johnson told The Today Show. “We’ll see where we are with the name, but I can’t say [for sure] right now.”