Sports

Navajo Nation Council Opposes NFL Team’s Name

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Caption:ASHBURN, VA - JANUARY 09: Jay Gruden speaks as he is introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins at a press conference at Redskins Park on January 9, 2014 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Caption:ASHBURN, VA – JANUARY 09: Jay Gruden speaks as he is introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins at a press conference at Redskins Park on January 9, 2014 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Council formally has opposed the use of the Washington Redskins name.

The council’s committee of the whole voted 9-2 Thursday on the measure sponsored by lawmaker Joshua Lavar Butler. He says the word can have negative psychological effects on American Indians.

The statement of opposition also applies to what Butler says are disparaging references to American Indians in other professional sports franchises.

It does not apply to college or high school mascots. The mascot for at least one high school on the Navajo Nation is the Redskins.

The final authority for the measure rests with the committee of the whole.

The president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association had urged lawmakers not to approve the measure. Peter MacDonald says the NFL team’s name honors American Indians.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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