Oneida Indian Nation defrays cost of dropping Redskins mascot for good

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Dan Snyder may be steadfast in his refusal to drop the Redskins name, but other programs at the high school level have been much more accommodating. The issue they’re facing now in some cases is finding a way to pay for all the alterations that come with abandoning a long time mascot.

This is almost certainly the last Cooperstown Central Redskins football team —
This is almost certainly the last Cooperstown Central Redskins football team —

In one touching case, a Native American tribe is actually pitching in to help out. As reported by USA Today, Representative Ray Halbritter from the Oneida Indian Nation plans to give a $10,000 check to the Cooperstown (N.Y.) School Board to defray the cost of new uniforms necessitated by the longtime Redskins’ change in mascot to the Hawkeyes.

Intriguingly, Habritter intimated that the Oneida Nation might be willing to offer similar assistance to other high schools that voted to abandon the Redskins moniker, all while offering a nasty tone against Snyder, noting that the Redskins are a billion-dollar franchise, “and they don’t need our money.”

Oneida Indian Nation President Ray Halbritter — Oneida Nation
Oneida Indian Nation President Ray Halbritter — Oneida Nation

"High school students are showing more wisdom than these wealthy major league owners,” Halbritter told USA Today. "They're showing much more thoughtful and respectful initiatives than many of these wealthy major-league team owners. … These wonderful kids have done such an inclusive, respectful and thoughtful thing."

As it turns out, Oneida assistant might not be needed in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights filed a federal complaint with the Department of Education earlier in 2013 asking for an order that would ban the use of all American Indian mascots in the state.

The widespread use of Native American mascots and nicknames means that no fewer than 35 schools across the Great Lakes state would be affected by the prospective order.

According to the Detroit Free Press, because of the prohibitive expenses incurred by switching those mascots and nicknames, a pair of Michigan legislators have moved to force the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to defray those costs.

Regardless of whether either of those acts come to pass, its become clear that the growing movement to rid “Redskins” from the American prep sports lexicon is at foot and growing. Rapidly. If Halbritter and his colleagues have anything to say about it, the nickname will disappear into the ether, whether with his funding or without.

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