Over on the homepage yesterday, I wrote about initial efforts by the University of Minnesota to “eliminate” the Washington Redskins name from a November 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings being held in the university’s TCF Bank Stadium. A new report by the Washington Post details specifics about the university’s request, including asking Washington to wear vintage uniforms and helmets that do not feature the name or American Indian head logo.
The team has worn a handful of throwback jersey-helmet combinations over the years, each of which has some image or reference to the “offensive” name, so it remains unclear which the university is referring to.
One possibility includes a blank helmet, but features the American Indian head on the sleeve:
Another option features the letter R on the helmet with its usual hanging feather.
Along with the uniform request, the university has also asked the Vikings not to sell any Washington merchandise at the stadium, not to use the name “Redskins” on game-related and promotional material and programs or on the scoreboard, and for the public-address announcer to not say the name of the team.
That said, the facility-use agreement between the university and the NFL does not give the university jurisdiction over the stadium on NFL game days. The university’s vice president in the office of equity and diversity told the Post that the Vikings have said they will ask the Redskins if they’re willing to comply with the requests ”but were not sure how it would be received.”
Critics of the Redskins name got a boost when Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which donated $10 million to the stadium’s construction, publicly condemned the “Redskins” name.
The Minnesota Vikings are play in TCF Bank Stadium for the next two years during construction of their new stadium in downtown Minneapolis.