Redskins Name a Symbol of Loyalty and Courage, Not a Slur, Says Leader of Navajo Code Talkers

by NESN Staff

November 27, 2013

A leader of the Navajo Code Talkers who appeared at a Washington Redskins home football game says he considers the team name a symbol of loyalty and courage — not a derogatory slur.

Roy Hawthorne was one of four Code Talkers honored for their service in World War II during the Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Hawthorne says the Code Talkers met with team owner Dan Snyder but did not discuss the name. Hawthorne says the word “redskins” is a Native American icon that has many positive meanings.

The brief ceremony came amid a “Change the Mascot” campaign by some Native Americans and civil rights leaders who regard the word as a racial epithet.

Snyder has called it a badge of honor.

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