The fight over the racial slur that is the nickname of a professional football team has made its way to college football.
In November of this year, the Minnesota Vikings play host to the Washington Redskins at TCF Bank Stadium as the NFL club awaits completion of the construction of its own stadium. TCF, of course, is the home of the University of Minnesota.
Prompted in part by a letter from a U.S. representative, the school is looking to distance itself from what a growing number are deeming an offensive nickname. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
The University of Minnesota is working with the Minnesota Vikings in an effort to keep the Washington Redskins’ name from being used in “promotional and game date materials” during the NFL teams’ Nov. 2 game at the school’s stadium in Minneapolis, according to an Aug. 1 letter from university President Eric Kaler to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn.
In a separate letter to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, McCollum wrote that “[t]he time for debate has ended — the name of the Washington franchise is clearly an offensive racial slur,” adding. “I urge you, as an NFL team owner, to not remain silent on this matter any longer.”
The Redskins, who have been in full-blown spin mode over the nickname for months, said in response to the push from the lawmaker and the university that the NFL club has “met many Native Americans from Minnesota who agree with our position and feel we are using the term correctly and honorably.”
Kaler, however, wrote that his university has been “working with the Vikings to make every effort to eliminate the use of Washington’s team name” both on game day in promotions leading up to the NFL game.
(Photo credit: Minnesota athletics)