An Islamic activist group is jumping aboard a protest in Minneapolis on Sunday, when the Washington Redskins play the hometown Vikings.
“We have an obligation to condemn all racist slurs and make it clear that they do not represent Minnesotans or our values,” said Lori Saroya, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations.
Last year, CAIR joined a call by Native American groups and others for the Redskins team to change its name.
On Sunday, a community protest will be staged by the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media. Protesters will gather at 8:30 a.m. at the University of Minnesota Northrop Plaza.
Saroya said CAIR supports similar changes for all high school, collegiate and professional teams that use what she called “racist names and mascots.”
Organizers of Sunday’s protest expect thousands of demonstrators to turn out for what they hope will be the biggest demonstration against the Redskins name, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The newspaper reported: “In Minnesota, with a significant Indian population and a history of activism, opposition has proved particularly persistent and become part of the public debate.”
The Hennepin County Board passed a resolution calling for the Washington franchise to change its nickname to one “that is not racist and derogatory,” Commissioner Peter McLaughlin said in a statement.
The city of Minneapolis said it lacked the legal standing to forbid the team from using the nickname when it comes to town
CAIR bills itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.”
The group says its mission is to “enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”