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School Bans NFL Swag

Numerous groups have come out to express their dissatisfaction with Washington Redskins moniker, which is commonly seen as an offensive racial epithet towards Native Americans.

Numerous groups have come out to express their dissatisfaction with Washington Redskins moniker, which is commonly seen as an offensive racial epithet towards Native Americans. In lieu of the Washington ownership remaining firm on not changing the name, one school in Washington, D.C., has decided to take a stand and has banned all Redskins merchandise from its classrooms.

According to NBC Washington, members of the Sidwell Friends School student government voted to keep Redskins merchandise out of its halls this school year.  The administration is standing behind its students as the student body government released a statement detailing its rationale:

“In our capacity as advocates for the greater good of Sidwell Friends School students, we are presented a difficult choice: Continue the same policies and allow a racial slur in our school environment or, alternatively, ensure Sidwell Friends is a safe space for all students and encourage growth,” the student body government said in the statement. “… We hope that, by discouraging Washington football team apparel, we will guide the educated Sidwell student down a path of ensuring social justice for all members of society.”

“The Sidwell Friends Student Government Charter encourages the expression of student opinions and concerns to the school administration,” the school said in a statement to NBC Washington. “The school administration accepted the proposal in a show of support for student voice and unity on the issue.”

The students came to their decision after a visit from Gyasi Ross, a member of the Native American community.

“Gyasi Ross illuminated the offensive nature of the Washington football team’s name,” the statement said. “Our Quaker values of equality and community compel us to amplify the voices of the Native American community. The dress code states that, ‘Children may not wear clothing with messages or images on clothing that conflict with the school’s values.’ Thus, we have reached the consensus that the Washington football team apparel (i.e., clothing with the team’s logo or official name, as long as it contains the word ‘Redskins’) is in direct violation of our dress code, and should be enforced like any other violation.”

It will be interesting to see how this Washington team will attempt to market to these younger audiences, who are so sensitive to the experiences of others.

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