The Washington Redskins are having a rough time of it today: Things started with a crash this morning involving two of the team's buses, which were en route to play the Vikings in Minneapolis, reports the AP. A police escort in Minnesota crashed into a guardrail around 8:30am; the team bus immediately behind it braked to avoid hitting the cop car, but second bus rear-ended the first. No injuries. Arriving in Minneapolis, the team was met with chants of "Who are we? Not your mascot!" from some 3,200 protesting Native Americans who were none too happy with the "Redskins" moniker. "My Hubby Did Not Fight in Iraq To Be Called A 'Redskin,' read one sign.
The protest raised familiar arguments, with one Redskins fan calling the name a "respectful" one in which Native Americans should "take pride." The name is nothing more than "a racial slur," counters one Democratic rep at the protest, citing Minnesota's "11 proud tribal nations. This was a government-funded policy of genocide." Indeed, as the Washington Post reports, Minneapolis is home to a sizable Native American presence, perhaps contributing to the size of the demonstration. The issue is compounded by the University of Minnesota, which currently leases its football stadium to the Vikings for a hefty $300,000 per game. With 1,100 students who identify as Native American, the university had in August demanded that the Redskins limit use of the mascot, logo, and team name during today's game.