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To: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Get racism out of pro sports: Sack the 'Skins!

Racism has no place in our society, including the NBA, NFL, or any of our professional sports. My faith teaches me that every person is created in God's image, and that when one person suffers all of us are affected.

The word "Redsk*ns" is a racial slur. It degrades an entire group of people who have endured a history of unjust treatment in our society.

I urge you to stand on the right side of history by forcing the professional football team in Washington to change its name.

Why is this important?

My name is Peggy Flanagan, I am a Native American person of faith, and a board member of Sojourners.

I’m ready for the NFL to stop treating me like a mascot. I am not a mascot. My daughter is not a mascot. My people are not mascots. It’s time to sack the ‘Skins.

For more than 80 years, Washington D.C.’s football team has been operating under public racism. To me, this is personal – as a Native American woman and mother, the word “Redsk*ns” offends me. Worse, it makes me fear that my young daughter will be hurt by seeing the racist images that degrade her people every day.

Recently, we saw the NBA oust one of its owners for his private racism. But for more than 80 years, Washington, D.C.’s, football team has been operating under public racism. With renewed attention on racism in professional sports, now is the perfect time to get this slur out of the NFL. Join me, Jim Wallis, and people of faith around the country in calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to change the hurtful “Redsk*ns” name!

Our faith tradition tells us that when one member suffers, we all suffer. We’re all created in God’s image. But, let me tell you, turning on a television and seeing a racist, derogatory word for my community does NOT make me feel respected. Some of my proudest moments have been marching and demonstrating against this hateful name, and now I’m ready to turn up the heat. Commissioner Goodell needs to take a hint and work to end racism in his league. Join me in standing against the racial slur “Redsk*ns.”

The pressure against the Redsk*ns name is mounting – from sports fans, elected officials, media outlets, and more. As a faith community, let’s make sure Commissioner Goodell knows what side we stand on.

Peggy Flanagan
Sojourners board member, citizen of the White Earth Nation, executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota



2014-05-28 11:22:54 -0400

A coalition of more than 75 Native American, religious and civil rights groups - including Sojourners! - just sent a letter to every single player in the NFL asking them to support a name change.



2014-05-22 16:01:12 -0400

Our friends at the Proud To Be campaign have a beautiful new campaign running - Native and non-Native people alike can send in pictures showing that you stand against racism! The pictures are inspiring. Take a look and send one in yourself!

2014-05-22 15:57:18 -0400

A full half of the Senate just signed on to a letter calling on the NFL to change the name! This issue is getting some major attention.

Check it out:

2014-05-16 18:15:27 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2014-05-15 08:40:36 -0400

500 signatures reached

2014-05-14 13:57:30 -0400

100 signatures reached

2014-05-14 13:36:30 -0400

50 signatures reached

2014-05-14 13:28:53 -0400

25 signatures reached

2014-05-14 13:24:42 -0400

10 signatures reached