Another group has spoken out about the Washington Redskins name. This time it is a group of Washington D.C.’s religious leaders. Rev. Graylan Hagler recruited 60 religious leaders to sign the letter with him. Some declined to sign because their faith groups have no formal stance on the name, but he said everyone agreed.
“If you use that word about a group of people, you characterize them as less than human,” Hagler said. “You have stripped them of their humanity and taken away the likeness of God that is within all of us.”
The letter was signed by leaders of Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, United Church of Christ, AME, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim faith groups. You can read the letter in its entirety below (via USA Today):
Dear Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder,
As faith leaders in our nation’s capital, we feel we must take a stand on an important moral issue
at the forefront of local and national consciousness: the offensive and inappropriate name of
Washington’s NFL team.
The derogatory term “redskin” offends many Native Americans and others in this country. This
word, defined in the dictionary as a slur, should not be publicly marketed and celebrated in
America, which is built on the ideals of respect and inclusion. Words can cause great pain, even
when there is no intention to offend or demean. In many cases, words and their meanings also
evolve over time; just because something was acceptable 80 years ago does not make it so
Each of us, regardless of our religious tradition, gender, or the color of our skin, is created in the
image of the Almighty. We should all strive to treat one another with dignity, respect and
compassion, just as we would like to be treated ourselves.
D.C. political leaders, Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, top sports figures,
leading journalists and thinkers, and even the President of the United States have urged
Washington’s football team to retire its offensive mascot.
As representatives of our faith communities, we believe that this is a moral issue and we
therefore have an obligation to step forward to join the Change the Mascot movement.
We urge you to look within, and to consider the feelings of your fellow Americans who are hurt
and offended by the continued use of this word. We pray that you will end the use of
Washington’s harmful NFL mascot, and instead help lead our country down a path of inclusion
and mutual respect