'Redskins' Team Name and Mascot Officially Banned

California officially banned the use of “Redskins” as a team name or mascot in the state. The California Racial Mascots Act, signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017. Schools currently using the name have until this time to pick a new mascot. California is the first state in the nation to implement a bill of this kind.

The decision only affects four public schools in the state that currently use redskins as a mascot. Rather than dismiss the issue due to how few schools use the mascot, though, the state still saw a need to ensure the term is not affiliated with any team now or in the future.

Change the Mascot, an organization run by the Oneia Indian tribe lobbying for the Washington Redskins to change their name, saw California’s decision as a step in the right direction. The group released a joint statement with the National Congress of American Indians, saying, “We applaud and extend our deepest gratitude to AB-30 author Assemblyman Luis Alejo, Governor Jerry Brown, and California’s lawmakers for standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state’s schools. They have set a shining example for other states across the country, and for the next generation, by demonstrating a commitment to the American ideals of inclusion and mutual respect.”

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