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Rally before Vikings game will protest Washington team’s nickname

Native American groups and others will hold the pre-game protest outside the stadium at the University of Minnesota. 

A rally outside the stadium before Sunday’s Vikings game will protest the name and mascot of the visiting Washington team.

A coalition of groups, including Native American tribes and organizations — along with Congresswoman Betty McCollum — will start at Northrop Plaza on the University of Minnesota campus at 9 a.m. for prayers and drums. They’ll then head to the 10 a.m. rally on the south side of TCF Stadium at the University.

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The groups say the team’s nickname and the mascot are objectionable and want the owners to stop using them.

On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Board passed a resolution calling for the team to change its name; it passed 6-1, with the only no vote coming from Commissioner Jeff Johnson, the GOP candidate for governor. He said it’s not the board’s business to weigh in on the controversy.

A long list of speakers for Sunday’s rally includes activist Dick Gregory and former Viking Joey Browner, former North Star Henry Boucha.

After the game there will be entertainment at Northrop Plaza.

Other scheduled speakers at the rally include

  • Larry Long, singer/songwriter,
  • David Glass, National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media
  • Minnesota state Rep. Susan Allen
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Business Council members
  • Bois Forte Band Representative Brandon Brenner
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin
  • White Earth Nation Chairwoman Erma Vizenor
  • Clyde Bellecourt and Charlene Teters, National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media
  • State Rep. Karen Clark
  • Mitch Walking Elk, singer/songwriter
  • Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter
  • Patricia Shepard, Idle No More
  • Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth
  • Bill Means, International Indian Treaty Council
  • Spike Moss, NAACP Minneapolis Chapter
  • National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr.
  • Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Councilman Brandon Stevens
  • Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota activist
  • Tara Houska, Not Your Mascots
  • Amanda Blackhorse, Navajo activist
  • Native Expressions Drum and Dance Troupe, Red Cliff, Wisc.
  • Aztec Dancers