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ACR-168 Native Americans: NFL Football: Change the Mascot.(2013-2014)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 168
CHAPTER 179

Relative to Native Americans.

[ Approved by Governor  September 11, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 11, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 168, Alejo. Native Americans: NFL Football: Change the Mascot.
This measure would urge the National Football League (NFL) to join with the Legislature and numerous organizations in calling for a name change for the Washington, D.C. NFL team, and calls upon the owners of NFL teams based in California to urge the owner of the Washington, D.C. NFL team and the NFL Commissioner to change the team mascot.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, California has the highest Native American population in the country, with over 700,000 people who identify themselves as Native American and over 109 federally recognized Indian tribes; and
WHEREAS, The name used by the Washington, D.C. National Football League (NFL) team is believed by some to be a racial slur and to promote discrimination against Native Americans; and
WHEREAS, “Indian” sports brands used by professional teams were born in an era when racism and bigotry were deemed acceptable; and
WHEREAS, 50 United States Senators joined together to send a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demanding that, “It’s time for the NFL to endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C. football team”; and
WHEREAS, Dozens of groups representing millions of Americans have asked NFL players to take a stand against the Washington, D.C. NFL team’s use of the derogatory R-word; and
WHEREAS, On June 18, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) canceled the Washington, D.C. NFL team’s federal trademark registration of the name “Washington R____.” The USPTO ruling deemed the term “disparaging to Native Americans,” and canceled the trademark status of the name. Unless the Washington, D.C. NFL team successfully appeals, the USPTO ruling would mean that the team has no legal ownership over the term; and
WHEREAS, Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, city councils, top sports icons, civil rights groups, religious groups, prominent journalists, and President Obama have all spoken out against the team’s continued use of the epithet; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature urges the National Football League (NFL) to join the National Congress of American Indians and other organizations, which represent more than 2 million Native Americans across the country and more than 300 tribes in the United States, in calling for a name change for the Washington, D.C. NFL team; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature calls upon the owners of NFL teams based in California to urge the Washington, D.C. NFL team owner Dan Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to adhere to the wishes of the millions of people who have joined Indian Country in urging that they change the team mascot; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.