California Just One Step From Being First State To Ban Redskins Name

  • Rick Chandler

Protest against name of Washington RedskinsThere are four high schools remaining in California which use the Redskins nickname for their sports teams, but it looks like that won’t be the case for long. The state’s Senate Education Committee voted 7-1 on Wednesday to ban the name — leaving only the rather perfunctory final step of the full Senate passing the bill.

Not sure why, but the last four schools to use the nickname are located relatively near to one another — in the central agricultural part of the state, south of Sacramento. They are Gustine High School in Merced County, Calaveras High School in Calaveras County, Chowchilla Union High School in Madera County and Tulare Union High School in Tulare County.

Other school districts across the U.S. have banned the Redskins name, but this would be the first state-wide edict.

And so, another crack in the protective ignorance bubble of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

“Native Americans are people, not mascots,” said Assemblyman Luis Alejo, a Democrat who introduced the bill in December after discussing it with student activists. “The way to truly honor Native Americans in the state with the largest Native American community is to pass this bill and get it signed by the governor.”

A similar bill was vetoed by the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2004.

Schools will have until January, 2017 to change the name and until 2019 to change uniforms. The long lead time is to reduce cost.

And that will also provide time for some students and alumni to stage inevitable “Save our glorious Redskins tradition” protests. Breaking news: if the nickname changes, the world’s gonna keep spinning. Hard to see how this is going to effect your life seven years from now.

According to a Capital News Service analysis in 2013, there were 62 schools in 22 states that still used the Redskins names. And 22 schools in 18 states had dropped the name since 1988.

But there have been several more bans in the ensuing two years, among them Lancaster High in New York (now the Legends), Capitol Hill High in Oaklahoma City, Conrad School Of Science in Delaware (not finalized yet) and others.