In a tweet on his official account, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on the Washington Redskins to change the name of the football team.
That came in a tweet in response to the decision by a New York school board to change the name of a high school team from the Redskins to the Legends.
After thanking the Lancaster, N.Y., school board for the unanimous vote, Duncan said: "It makes no sense to me why the Washington pro football team won't do the same and stop perpetuating racial stereotypes."
According to the Change the Mascot campaign, Duncan's message came just hours before the California Senate's Education Committee advanced a bill that would ban the Redskins name from all public schools in the state.
Change the Mascot campaign leaders National Congress of American Indians executive director Jackie Pata and Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter praised the moves in a joint statement.
“We applaud California’s lawmakers for their leadership and demonstrating their commitment to respecting the rights of Native Americans. Assemblyman [Luis] Alejo, who authored this bill, deserves special praise and he has certainly earned our deepest admiration and respect.
“We would also like express our sincere appreciation to Secretary Duncan for his courageous and just opposition to the use of the R-word racial slur and the continued stereotyping of Native Americans by sports teams. "
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