U. of Minn. president aims to block ‘Redskins’ name from stadium, promotions

BY Sam Lane  August 7, 2014 at 10:59 AM EST
Photo by Flickr user Keith Allison

Photo by Flickr user Keith Allison

Washington’s NFL team has drawn more fire over its use of the “Redskins” nickname, this time from the collegiate level.

According to Minnesota Public Radio, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said he wants to stop the Redskins from using that name when they play the Minnesota Vikings at the school’s TCF Bank Stadium in November.

Kaler wrote a letter to Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., last week, saying the university is working with the Vikings to eliminate “Redskins” in promotions, game materials and public address announcements.

The Vikings are playing at the university’s stadium while their own facility is under construction. In his letter, however, Kaler acknowledged that the school’s agreement with the Vikings doesn’t grant it any authority over NFL team behaviors or the team’s schedule.

“[The Vikings] are participating in ongoing discussions with the University and the American Indian community to ensure a peaceful, positive and safe event for fans while also providing space for protest and expression,” wrote Kaler, who also called the name “offensive.”

McCollum is the co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and has campaigned against the “Redskins” nickname since last year, according to MPR. Last month, McCollum asked Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to speak out against the “Redskins” name.

Read Kaler’s letter here:

Kaler letter to McCollum

The concerns from Minnesota join a growing list of those opposed to the name. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was the latest to add his voice to the crowd who think the Redskins should change their name.