Washington Senator May Force Redskins to Restore Their Controversial Logo

Senator Steve Daines is blocking the approval of a bill that would allow the Washington Commanders to revamp and use the RFK Stadium site. Daines wants the team to “restore the honor and legacy of the logo” which was removed after decades of controversy.

Controversy at RFK

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Debate surrounding the Washington Commanders football team has been brought to a head again amidst their new RFK stadium plans. 

Steve Daines Blocks Bill

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Steve Daines, a Republican Senator from Montana, is blocking a critical piece of legislation. He’s using his position to advocate for certain changes which he claims come from his constituents.

The Bill in Question

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The bill, which has already passed the House with large bipartisan support, would transfer control of the RFK stadium site to Washington, D.C. This would pave the way for new redevelopment plans which the Commanders are seeking.

Why Daines Is Blocking

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Daines is refusing to let the bill pass until either the Washington Commanders bring back their old logo or there is some other action taken to honor the family behind it.

The Old Redskins Logo

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The original logo was used from 1972 to 2020. It featured a former Native American chief, John Two Guns White Calf. It was designed in consultation with the Blackfeet Tribe.

Name Change and Logo Controversy

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In 2020, the former Washington Redskins changed their name to the Washington Commanders and retired their logo. This was amid controversy over its depiction of Native Americans and a broader movement for cultural sensitivity.

Daines’ Perspective

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According to Daines, “it’s all about restoring the honor and legacy of the logo.” He also emphasizes that the logo has a connection to the Blackfeet Tribe and Native American heritage.

Importance of the Logo

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Daine is arguing that the logo is not an offensive caricature, but instead a respectful depiction. He points out that some Native American leaders had input on the design.

The Wetzel Family’s Role

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The logo was partially designed by Walter “Blackie” Wetzel, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe. He worked with the former Redskins to create it, making it a source of pride for his family and tribe.

A Montana Connection

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Daines’ claims that his advocacy is on behalf of his Montana constituents, especially the Wetzel family and Blackfeet tribe.

The Commanders’ Response

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The Washington Commanders have stated that they are open to discussion and are currently seeking a resolution. They are looking to honor Wetzel’s contributions without necessarily reverting back to the old logo.

The Debate

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The old Redskins logo has been a topic of debate for many decades. While some find it prideful, many others find it offensive, reflecting the broader national debate on Native American imagery.

Supporters Speak Up

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Ryan Wetzel, Blackie’s grandson, openly supports Daines’ efforts. He has highlighted the logo’s significance to his family and tribe.

What the Opposition Is Saying

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Many others have argued that the removal of the logo is necessary for progress and respect of Native Americans. Some believe that you cannot separate the logo and the racial slurs it has promoted.

Native American Advocates

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Specifically, Native American advocates believe that the logo has no place in a more equitable future for Indigenous people. Experts believe mascots like this affect the mental health of the people, especially the children, that they represent.

Legislative Implications

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By holding up the bill, Daines is forcing the Senate to either commit to a full debate or include this discussion in another legislative package. This makes the process more complicated.

Addressing It Thoughtfully

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A Commanders spokesperson reflected the team’s intent to address the issue thoughtfully, saying, “we have spoken directly to the Wetzel family and are working collaboratively to recognize Blackie Wetzel for his contributions.”

Returning to the Blackfeet People

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Many council members of the Blackfeet Nation also point out that although the logo may have had Native input, there has been little generated money returned to the Blackfeet people themselves.

Consulting the Blackfeet Nation

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Many direct descendants of White Calf, whose likeness was used in the original logo, have argued that they deserve a seat at the table. They were not consulted about the original image, now or then.

A Hot Topic

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The name change and logo debate have been a hot topic for fans and the public. This has been an emotional and important issue for many.

Moving Forward

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As discussion continues, a decision will need to be made that respects the heritage of the Blackfeet tribe and addresses concerns from other Indigenous tribes. Hopefully, a future solution will honor all parties involved.

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The post Washington Senator May Force Redskins to Restore Their Controversial Logo first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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