GREEN BAY - The Washington Redskins are coming to town this weekend, and they're bringing more than just their fans: They're bringing controversy with them.
And Friday, opponents of the Redskins nickname explained why they are pushing for a change.
Dozens gathered at the UW-Green Bay forum to discuss what they say is the good, the bad and the ugly representations of Native Americans in sports culture.
“There's no other culture that that happens to in America,” said Richie Plass with Changing Winds Advocacy Center.
Intentionally timed, as the Washington Redskins visit the Packers this weekend.
“With the team coming in from Washington, There are some of us who are offended by the use of the name, the use of the imagery,” said Plass.
National groups also have run radio ads in Wisconsin, urging fans to protest the Redskins name.
Native American activists in our state say many schools in Wisconsin have already dropped their mascot names, like the "Indians."
“Whenever I go into schools and I’m talking about it I always find someone who says we'll change when the Washington professional team changes its mascot,” said Barbara Munson with Wisconsin Indian Education Association.
The same groups putting on the forum at UW-Green Bay Friday say they plan a peaceful protest here at Lambeau on Sunday. So we came to Lambeau Field to ask football fans what they think about the mascots.
“I don't think it's offensive because it's a sports team and it's been here forever,” said one fan.
“It's many, many years, this name,” said his friend, Victor Veterov. “Everybody likes it. We are just as proud for Indians, for everyone.”
The Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said earlier this year he will never change the name. Some fans say they agree.
“I support him. I really do. Again, I don't think it's any type of slight on Indians or anything like that and I hope he stays his ground,” said Barry Neff.
However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told a D.C. radio show this week he's open to discussion.
“We have to listen. If one person is offended, we have to listen. Ultimately, it is Dan's decision, but it's something I want all of us to go out and that we're listening to our fans listening to people who have a different view,” said Goodell.
We reached out to the Washington Redskins team for an official statement. Our request was not returned.
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Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
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