U.S. President Obama says schools and teams should drop Native American-themed mascots, including ''a certain NFL team here in Washington''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday (November 5) reentered the long-running fight over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team, praising efforts to rid sports teams of Native American imagery. Obama made the comments at the White House Tribal Nations Conference. "So if you're living in a society that devalues your culture or perpetuates stereotypes, you may be devaluing yourself. So we have to have to preserve bonds, break stereotypes. And I think that includes our sports teams," Obama said in a prepared speech. Later, on stage in a question and answer session with Native American youth, Obama praised the sports apparel company Adidas' initiative to eliminate Native American mascots while taking a jibe at the Redskins. "So what Adidas has done is it said to the 2000-plus schools that still have Native American/Alaskan-native mascots, it said, you know we will redesign your entire sports brand. And I don't know if Adidas made the same offer to a certain NFL team here in Washington..." Obama said, halting for applause. Obama has said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name, and Native American groups have fought the name in court and through advertising campaigns.