Louisiana tribal leader supports NFL name change, says previous nickname ’obviously offensive’

Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 4:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Following weeks of financial pressure, the Washington Redskins will retire its controversial name.

"We applaud any and all actions that are intended to create unity and to erase vestiges of racism," said David Sickey, Tribal Chairman for the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. "The term is obviously offensive for many reasons."

The Coushatta Tribe along with the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, and Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana, are federally recognized tribes in the state.

“The Coushatta are still thriving and alive. We are not a relic confined to the pages of a history book or a textbook,” Sickey said. “The point is this tribe here in Elton, Louisiana is a thriving, vibrant, tribal nation within a nation.”

Sickey says the change is long overdue.

"Changes like this when implemented today give us all collectively an opportunity to discuss the issues that divide us," said Sickey.

The change comes less than two weeks after the franchise announced launching a thorough review.

Meantime, in the MLB, the Cleveland Indians say the franchise is “engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”

While the Atlanta Braves tell season ticket holders, it will look at the future of the ‘Tomahawk’ Chop but a name change is not under consideration.

"Native Americans have really been fighting for recognition and equal rights and social justice issues and civil rights issues since the founding of America," Sickey said.

He says the name change is a good first step but says it’s time for the nation to have more difficult discussions, “Our history is both good and bad but I would suggest and I urge all of my fellow Americans to lets learn from our history whether it’s good or bad and take the best lessons, best practices and apply to our daily life today.”

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