California bans use of nickname “Redskins”

Washington RedskinsThe Washington Redskins logo isn’t the only one that could be changed soon. (Photo: Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

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California became the first state to ban public schools from using the term “Redskins” as a team name or mascot under a law signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The measure, which goes into effect, Jan. 1, 2017, affects four schools that are still using the term: Gustine High School, Calaveras High School, Chowchilla Union High School, and Tulare High School. The schools will be allowed to phase out materials with the term such as uniforms because of concerns about costs.

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The bill was defeated four times in the state dating back to 2002 before it passed the Assembly and eventually was signed into law Sunday.

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata, leaders of the advocacy group Change the Mascot, issued a statement and used the California law as a means to put pressure on the Washington Redskins.

The advocacy groups lauded California for “standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state’s schools.”“They have set a shining example for other states across the country, and for the next generation, by demonstrating a commitment to the American ideals of inclusion and mutual respect.”

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher

Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America.

Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet.

Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.