DC-Area Man Joins Kansas Native American in Fight to Change Team Name, 13 Feb 2001

“If you don’t have a problem with the name ‘Redskin’, I would rather think that you are unenlightened”, according to Robert Gatewood, President of Afamerica. Gatewood is on a mission to eliminate the word ‘Redskin’ from the name of the most profitable football franchise in the country. According to Gatewood, “the name is extremely insensitive. It’s bad enough that our country nearly exterminated an entire race of people (Native Americans), but it is a national disgrace that, for our amusement and enrichment, ‘we walk on the graves of the dead’, and demoralize their descendants by mocking them through derogatory mascots and nicknames”. Gatewood decided to launch his campaign after reading an article in the Washington Post on February 13, 2001, during which Washington football team owner, Daniel Snyder, said he would ‘never change the name’.

“Mr. Gatewood adds, “If Dan can recruit Marty Schottenheimer to clean up his team, then he can recruit someone to clean up his image. Gatewood goes further to say, “as a fellow professional in the field of marketing and communications, Danny knows all-too-well the importance of PR. This issue is his ‘Sword of Damocles’.” Gatewood says his disgust for racist mascots started as he studied for his undergraduate degree in Political Science. Now armed with an MBA degree and a background in marketing and communications, he intends to use his education and experience to fight what he sees as blatant racism.

When asked why he doesn’t stick to African American issues, Gatewood responds “”there is an old saying that goes ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, in this case our common enemy is the hubris of white supremacy. By confronting white supremacy and its consequences, the entire human race benefits…including whites. When white supremists stop demonizing and belittling other races, they can realistically focus on their own social ills such as teen drug abuse, gun violence and other areas of denial.” Gatewood and his company, Afamerica, recently joined forces with America Comments Magazine a Kansas-based organization run by Mathew Richter, a Native American.

Gatewood and Richter began communicating by email in early February and decided that the nation’s capitol was an ideal place to launch their campaign.

“That comment by Daniel Snyder was the lightening rod”, says Gatewood.

Gatewood and Richter are enlisting the “good-hearted” people of the nation’s capitol to bring pressure on Dan Snyder to find a new team mascot, one that is less derogatory and more positive.

According to Gatewood, “we realize that there is no intent to disparage on the behalf of Mr. Snyder, the players or the fans, but that does not mitigate the fact that the name is racist and mocks the descendants of a proud people who were nearly annihilated”.

When asked what can the “good-hearted” people of the nation’s capitol do to help, Gatewood responds, “you can show your support by viewing the online video Redskin: A 500-Year Hate Crime . After you view it, share it with others.

Gatewood concludes, “I am receiving no monetary compensation for my efforts.

Contact: Robert Gatewood, Afamerica.Com 1-877-235-1162