Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has led renewed calls for the Washington Redskins to change their name after the NFL franchise tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Tuesday.
The American football team took part in the project, which was aimed at eschewing self-promotion or commercial content by posting a black square and caption calling for racial equality.
The #BlackoutTuesday campaign was sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mr Floyd died last Monday after a white police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck and sports stars have joined in the widespread condemnation.
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However, Ocasio-Cortez was among those who said the Redskins could challenge racism by first changing the name of their franchise.
The congresswoman wrote on Twitter: “Want to really stand for racial justice? Change your name.”
Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels also weighed in, adding: “Sit down.”
The team, which changed its name from the Braves in 1933, has long been the target of protests by Native American groups for decades.
But franchise owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly refused to consider making a change.
And in 2013 Snyder wrote an open letter in which he described the team name as “a badge of honour” and declared it “continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.”
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