Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DeAngelo Hall speaks out



The Washington NFL franchise has a racist name, modeled on the book bound in human skin which was long proudly displayed at the entrance of the library at the Iliff School of Theology here and the 20,000 skulls severed from Native American bodies, held in the Smithsonian here, here, here and here.

Yet the athletes in the National Football League are often prevented, for fear of losing a job, from speaking out. Democracy does not extend easily to major enterprises in America, and is rarely, in "the land of the free," without cost to those of courage. But now DeAngelo Hall, a cornerback and free agent for next season, has said that the name should be changed. Hall thus joins his voice to the many who demonstrated against this genocidal name in Denver and Minnesota, and to those who see, contra Daniel Snyder, the belligerently ignorant owner of the team, the obvious parallels between the Nazi genocide toward Jews, Roma and slavs and that of the American government toward indigenous people.

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200 civil rights organizations have spoken up - see here - and as DeAngelo Hall shows, individuals are increasingly willing to speak out. A new era of mutual recognition and democracy is, all too slowly, starting to dawn in America.

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"Associated Press
'Redskins' Cornerback DeAngelo Hall

For a photo of DeAngelo Hall, see here.

'Redskins' Player Says Team 'Probably Should' Change Name
ICTMN STAFF [Indian Country]
1/16/14

DeAngelo Hall has kept it real.

According to Fox Sports’ Keepin’ it Real With Mike Hill, the “Redskins” cornerback told the news network that the team should “probably” change their name.

"They probably should,” Hall said. “But they won't for a while at least."

Hall’s contract will expire on March 11, quite possibly making it easier for him to speak his mind before becoming a free agent.

Hall is reportedly the first current Redskins player to publicly throw his support against the team's name. Former Washington player and Hall of Famer Art Monk said that the NFL franchise should consider dropping the word [Note how difficult plain speech is in America; the name is poisonous...].

Most players have dodged that bullet by staying mum when questioned about it (RGIII, for example, was advised not to talk about the pro team's name). However, receiver Josh Morgan is the exception, according to a Washington Post blog post.

“I grew up right down the street from RFK stadium,” Morgan said at the time. “As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here right now. All I know is the Redskins, so I’m glad we’re not going ever to change the name.” ["ever" is a long time, not something mortals have, the word betraying unease...; Mr. Morgan is black and the sadness of his spewing racism toward others instead of fighting it, is, as is Mr. Snyder's, evident...]

The Oneida Indian Nation congratulated Hall for stepping forward against the name. "With his comments today, DeAngelo Hall has become the first current Washington player to state the obvious, which is that the team should change its name and mascot to something other than a dictionary-defined slur that denigrates Native Americans," said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter in a press release. Halbritter congratulated Hall and said that he was "on the right side of history." "Hopefully others in the NFL, including Washington’s owner Dan Snyder and the league’s leadership will finally decide to step forward and do the right thing,” Halbritter said.

When pressed by Hill at the end of the interview to elaborate, Hall said, “I think eventually they will change it.”


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