Several hundred people marched Thursday to the Minneapolis stadium where the Vikings and Redskins were to play hours later in protest of Washington's team name. "We are not your mascot!" the crowd chanted as passing drivers honked their support and a drummers’ circle in the back of a pickup performed. Protesters carried signs calling the name racist, the Star Tribune reports. A banner carried by members of the National Coalition Against Racism read "The 'R' word is no different than the 'N' word." Speakers included the mayor, wearing a shirt that said, "There is no honor in racism"; a member of Congress, who criticized the name on the floor of the House on Wednesday; and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. Flanagan told the crowd about her experience, which she has said was painful, explaining the team name to her 6-year-old daughter.
“I think this is probably the most hurtful team name for our people,” said Charles Vig, chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, per the Washington Post. It's worse than "Indians" or "Braves" because the word was used by white people when scalping Native Americans, protesters said. Fifty US senators petitioned the NFL in 2014 to pressure Washington to change the name. Daniel Snyder, the team's owner, has said that he'll never do that. He has said it expresses honor and respect, per the AP. (The Atlanta Braves backed away from their Tomahawk Chop after a complaint.)