California First State to Ban Schools’ Use of “Redskins” as Team Name

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The name “Redskins” has been banned as a mascot name in California schools, under legislation signed Sunday by Governor Jerry Brown.


California is the first state to outlaw the name, which has been an ongoing controversy in the other parts of the country, particularly with the NFL’s Washington Redskins.


AB 30 requires any school using the name—there are only four in the state—to change their mascot name by January 2017. The law also prohibits any school from switching to that the name, which denigrates Native Americans and is considered offensive by many.


The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo, said it was important for his state to outlaw the name. “California has the largest number of Native Americans in the country,” he said in May, when the bill was passed by the legislature. “It’s time we as a state take a stand against racial slurs used by our public schools. This is part of a national movement and now is the time for us here in California to end the use of this derogatory term in our public schools.”


Dan Snyder, the owner of Washington’s NFL team, has resisted calls to change the name of his team, even paying some Native Americans to say the name is OK with them.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

California Just Took a Big Stand against the Team Name ‘Redskins’ (by Carimah Townes, ThinkProgress)

California Makes Civil Rights History by Banning R-word Mascots Statewide in Public Schools (Change the Mascot)

4 Schools to Change Mascots after California Governor Bans Name Offensive to Native Americans (by Christopher Weber, Associated Press)

Federal Judge Affirms Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademark as Offensive (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

U.S. Patent Office Cancels Redskins Trademark as Disparaging, Fueling Opposition to Team Name (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Leave a comment