Native People main Redskins petition outraged {that a} Washington Commanders rep known as them ‘pretend group’


The Native People who’re main a viral petition demanding the Washington Commanders reclaim their historic Redskins identify bristled with anger and resolve after a crew consultant known as their group “a pretend group.”

“We’re not a pretend group. We’re tribal-enrolled members from tribes throughout america,” Eunice Davidson, co-founder and president of the nonprofit Native American Guardians Affiliation (NAGA), headquartered in North Dakota, informed Fox Information Digital throughout an interview.

Davidson calls herself “full-blooded Dakota Sioux.” 


NAGA generated nationwide headlines this summer season with its petition to deliver the Redskins again to the NFL

The hassle now has some 128,000 signatures as of Monday (August 28). 

Members of NAGA

Members of the Native American Guardians Affiliation. NAGA historian Andre Billeaudeaux (again row, middle) blames “poisonous ignorance” for the hassle to take away Native imagery from sports activities and standard tradition. President Eunice Davidson (far proper) mentioned the stress is fueled by “racist White woke” professors and lecturers. (Courtesy Native American Guardians Affiliation)

“We’re in it to win it,” mentioned NAGA co-founder and historian Andre Billeaudeaux. 

“You perceive the people who began this petition is a pretend group, proper?” Matthew Laux, a premium-seat gross sales supervisor for the Commanders and FedEx Discipline, wrote on August 18 in a textual content to a former luxury-suite season ticket holder.

“We’re not a pretend group. We’re tribal-enrolled members from tribes throughout america.”

— NAGA president Eunice Davidson

“This identify change WAS, IS & without end shall be a significant drawback,” Christina King had texted earlier within the day, sparking what grew to become a heated trade between the 2.

Redskins fake group text

A Washington Commanders/FedEx Discipline consultant known as the Native American Guardians Affiliation “a pretend group” in a textual content trade with former luxury-box proprietor Christina King.  (Screenshot by Christina King)

The franchise adopted the identify Boston Redskins in 1933, earlier than transferring to Washington, D.C. in 1937. 

King mentioned she gave up her suite after three years when the franchise, below earlier proprietor Dan Snyder, dropped “Redskins” because the crew’s nickname in 2020. 

“As a fan of the crew I did not need it [the Redskins name] modified both,” Laux mentioned at one level in the course of the textual content trade. 

He appeared to develop more and more pissed off as King dug in her heels in protection of the normal Redskins identify and in assist of the petition, earlier than he known as NAGA “a pretend group.” 


Fox Information Digital reached Laux, however he declined to speak. 

A Commanders spokesperson informed Fox Information Digital that Laux doesn’t communicate for the group.

The Commanders additionally informed Fox Information Digital by way of an emailed assertion from a spokesperson, “For practically 90 years, this franchise had a unique identify, and lots of have fond reminiscences of cheering for that crew and watching it win three Tremendous Bowls. This doesn’t signify any shift in our strategy nor does it change the legitimate causes for dropping the identify.”

Redskins helmet

A Washington Redskins helmet sits on the grass throughout a preseason soccer recreation between the Redskins and Cleveland Browns at FedEx Discipline on Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins emblem was initially impressed by King Tammany, a Lenni Lenape chief recognized to the lads who fought the American Revolution as “the Patron Saint of America.” (TJ Root/Getty Photos)

Former suite proprietor King texted to Laux throughout their dialog, “We simply signed the petition from NAGA … We are going to come again as suite homeowners when the identify reverts again to the Washington Redskins.”

“We’re in it to win it.” — NAGA co-founder and historian Andre Billeaudeaux

“The crew by no means ought to have by no means been pressured into altering the identify,” she additionally mentioned.

Davidson of NAGA claimed the stress to take away the Redskins from the NFL, in addition to Native American imagery from highschool, faculty and professional sports activities across the nation, is led by “racist White woke” faculty professors and lecturers. 

Josh Harris at Commanders-Browns

Managing accomplice Josh Harris of the Washington Commanders seems on previous to a preseason recreation in opposition to the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Aug. 11, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Photos by way of Getty Photos)

“Individuals wish to name us pretend they usually’ve carried out that earlier than,” Davidson mentioned. “They by no means inform our story and that’s their objective. To wipe out Native historical past. It’s discrimination while you go after one tradition like this.”


“Poisonous ignorance” has fueled the hassle by woke professors and lecturers to erase Native American historical past from the nation’s sports activities and pop-culture lexicon, mentioned Billeaudeaux, who’s the creator of the guide “How the Redskins Received Their Title.”

Lenni Lenape Tamanend

Lenni Lenape chief Tammany, often known as Tammany, was dubbed the “Patron Saint of America.” Idealized composite portrait by Fritz Bade from descriptions of the person, because it seems within the 1938 guide, “The Tammany Legend” by Joseph White Norwood. Tammany was the inspiration for the unique Redskins emblem.  (Fritz Bade/Public Area)

“These persons are simply ignorant. It’s poisonous ignorance,” mentioned Billeaudeaux. “It’s group suppose. It’s the psychology of a gaggle that has no concept what they’re doing, however they received’t hearken to us, both.”

The unique Redskins identify and emblem was impressed by Seventeenth-century Lenni Lenape chief Tamanend, often known as Tammany. 

The Tammany-inspired emblem appeared on Braves uniforms because the franchise moved to Milwaukee and Atlanta. 

He was celebrated by the Founding Fathers and the troops that fought within the American Revolution because the “Patron Saint of America.”

The “males spent the day in mirth and jollity … in honor of King Tammany,” an aide to George Washington wrote after the lethal winter at Valley Forge in Might 1778. 

Gettysburg Monument

The forty second New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was generally often known as The Tammany Regiment, in honor of the Lenni Lenape native who helped encourage the beginning of the brand new nation. Tammany’s picture adorns the forty second New York’s battlefield monument at Gettysburg.  (Library of Congress/Public Area)

Statues of “Saint Tammany” stand sentinel on the U.S. Naval Academy and watch over the useless of New York’s forty second Volunteer Infantry Regiment, recognized the Tammany Regiment, on the Gettysburg battlefield.

The celebrated Lenni Lenape-inspired patriotic Tammany Societies sprung up across the nation within the early days of independence. 


Tammany made his approach into skilled sports activities when James Gaffney, a member of New York Metropolis’s highly effective Tammany Corridor, bought the Boston Rustlers of Main League Baseball‘s Nationwide League in 1912.

He rebranded the crew the Boston Braves in honor of Saint Tammany and launched the picture of the chief as its emblem. 

The Tammany-inspired emblem appeared on Braves uniforms because the franchise moved to Milwaukee and Atlanta. 

The “Patron Saint of America” was erased from Atlanta Braves uniforms in 1989. 

Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth of the Boston Braves indicators autographs for followers on April 23, 1935. The Boston Braves had been based by James Gaffney, a member of Tammany Corridor, who adopted the picture of Lenni Lenape chief King Tammany because the crew emblem — as seen on Ruth’s left sleeve right here.  (Getty Photos)

Businessman George Preston Marshall introduced the NFL to Boston in 1932. As was the customized of the period, he named the upstart professional soccer membership after the extra established professional baseball crew. 

Marshall’s Boston Soccer Braves performed at Braves Discipline and adopted the identical Tammany emblem because the Baseball Braves.

The next yr, Marshall moved the crew to close by Fenway Park, dwelling of the American League Boston Pink Sox

He renamed the crew Redskins. It was a tribute not solely to the Pink Sox — however was deeply embedded in cherished Native American lore. 

“Redskins is just not about race. It is a warrior who’s gone via the bloodroot ceremony,” mentioned Billeaudeaux, the Native American historian. 

John Two Guns White Calf

At left, Native America Blackfeet Chief John Two Weapons White Calf (1872-1934) is proven shaking fingers with A. Aaron of Madras, India, as they met at a Rotary Conference, circa 1925. White Calf was the inspiration for the face that appeared on Washington Redskins helmets and merchandise from 1972 to 2000.  (FPG/Archive Photographs/Hulton Archive/Getty Photos)

“They shave their heads and give up their souls to their Creator. They paint themselves crimson as in the event that they had been born new into the world.” 

Marshall moved the Redskins to Washington, D.C. in 1937. He died in 1969. 

The crew freshened its authentic Tammany-inspired emblem in 1971. The brand new model was designed by Blackfeet Native Walter “Blackie” Wetzel and was supposed to characterize Blackfeet Chief John Two Weapons White Calf. 

The brand new emblem loved overwhelming approval from Native American teams throughout the nation when the Redskins stepped on the sector sporting the redesigned uniforms in 1972.

Redskins fans

Washington Redskins fan Christina King, left, and sister Carolyn Steppe. King owned a collection at FedEx Discipline for Redskins video games for 3 years, she mentioned. She gave up the suite when the crew dropped the Redskins identify in 2020.  (Courtesy Christina King)

“The Redskins had been the one minority illustration in all the NFL and it was an actual particular person, not a mascot,” mentioned Billeaudeaux. 

The Redskins identify and its imagery stay standard amongst each longtime followers of the NFL crew and Native People — representing a public relations nightmare for the brand new possession.

The Fb group “Redskins Followers Ceaselessly” contains 61,600 members who discuss with the crew solely by its historic identify. 

Ninety p.c of Native People across the nation supported the Redskins identify in a Washington Publish ballot in 2016, because the woke assault on the normal identify grew stronger. 

Red Mesa Redskins

The digital show signal bearing the Redskins emblem is seen outdoors Pink Mesa Excessive Faculty on Oct. 15, 2014, in Pink Mesa, Arizona. The Pink Mesa Redskins put in a brand new soccer discipline in 2023 with Redskins warrior splashed throughout the 50-yard line.  (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Publish by way of Getty Photos)

Native American teams nonetheless assist the Redskins identify and picture as we speak, even after it was wiped from the NFL, mentioned NAGA president Davidson. 

The Pink Mesa Excessive Faculty Redskins, on a Navajo reservation in Arizona, celebrated the revealing of their new soccer discipline simply final week. 


The sphere options the menacing picture of a red-skinned Native warrior splashed throughout the 50-yard line.

“We’re Redskins followers, not Commanders followers,” King, the previous suite proprietor, informed Fox Information Digital. “We’re not coming again till the identify comes again. They’ve taken these photographs from sports activities. They bowed to the woke they usually’re attempting to erase Native American historical past.” 

Redskins inspiration and logo

Blackfeet Chief John Two Weapons White Calf (left) was the inspiration for the face that appeared on Washington Redskins helmets and merchandise from 1972 to 2000. A Washington Redskins helmet photograph is on proper.  (FPG/Archive Photographs/Hulton Archive and Will Newton, each from Getty Photos)

Mentioned Billeaudeaux concerning the situation, “The identify Redskins is a nationwide treasure.”


He added, “And for that purpose it must be protected. It’s a cultural treasure and deserves to be protected and understood. It’s not simply concerning the soccer crew. It’s concerning the DNA of the nation.”


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