WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Oneida Indian Nation lumped praise in a recent press release on “legendary member of the Washington, D.C. NFL team” Tre Johnson, for taking a public stance against the Redskins name in a recent Washington Post column.
Johnson, who played 9 NFL seasons, and 8 for the Redskins (1994-2000, 2002), made one Pro Bowl appearance (1999) during his time in Washington.
In Mike Wise’s column, published Tuesday, Johnson declared, “I definitely think the name should be changed; it’s 2014. We’re progressive and intellectual enough to realize something like that is offensive. And it’s offensive because a group of people that that moniker represents has said so.”
John Carlos, a Civil Rights hero for raising his fist on the podium, alongside Gold-medalist teammate Tommie Smith, as the national anthem played after winning the bronze medal in the 200 meter race at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, also commented on the name:
“For tribes or reservations to say they’re uncomfortable with you using that name, and then have players say they are just as uncomfortable, and the owner stands there, saying he’ll never change the name? How do you get away with that? To this day, there has been no real negotiation or real listening and understanding that I know of.”
National Congress of American Indians representative Jacqueline Pata and Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter praised Johnson and Carlos, in a joint statement:
“Tre’ Johnson, a legendary member of the Washington, D.C. NFL team, and John Carlos, a civil rights sports icon, have added their powerful voices to the growing Change the Mascot campaign against the demeaning mascotization of Native peoples,” the statement reads.
“NFL officials and the Washington, D.C. team owner have a choice: they can continue following in the footsteps of the infamous segregationist George Preston Marshall who originally decided to use this dictionary defined racial slur as the D.C. team’s name. Or they can stand on the right side of history and retire this racist moniker.”