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Washington mascot protest heats up in Minnesota

Activists say R-word and N-word equally offensive
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Advocates who consider the Washington professional football team nickname racist and offensive believe that change eventually will come, but not without constant pressure on the team owner to do so. Since purchasing the team in 1999, billionaire Daniel Snyder consistently says he will not change the original nickname given by the team’s founder in the early 1930s. Some argue that Washington’s annual estimated revenue — at $245 million — is largely based on team merchandise and other apparel that feature a racially insensitive logo. But Snyder strongly contends that most fans support him and often refers to a 2004 Annenberg poll of mostly White respondents that found that nearly 90 percent of those polled were not offended by the name. “There is now a national conversation — politicians, journalists, sports figures, activists and leaders of all races — coming together to stand with Indian people in pursuit of respect and dignity,” proclaimed U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum

(D-Minn.) last week at a November 5 forum at the University of Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Mr. Bellecourt is right!

‘Redskins’ controversy heats up again
 
This column identifies with, respects and supports Clyde Bellecourt’s request to NFL, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, don’t use “Redskins,” even if the NFL does. We stand in unity against racism, for far too long a part of the American and Minnesota landscapes. The Jewish owner of the Washington NFL team, Dan Snyder, is doing one of three things: (1) carrying on the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall’s ghost, (2) being tone deaf to fans who understand how racist it is, or (3) at first didn’t know but now knows and doesn’t care, an example of both #1 and #2. This is a wake-up call to racism deniers: foul racism still exists. George Preston Marshall, the owner who gave the team its name in 1932, was a leader in the NFL movement that officially banned Blacks, league wide, in 1933, a ban not lifted until 1947. Continue Reading →

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Three tied at top of NFC North

 

We have reached the halfway point of the 2013 NFL season, and it’s all tied at 5-3 at the top between Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay. Monday night, the oldest rivalry in the NFL between the Bears and Packers was at center stage, and Chicago beat the Packers 27-20 at Lambeau Field for the first time since 2007. The Packers were in the driver’s seat before kickoff, having beaten the Bears six straight times. With Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers were 8-2 vs. the Bears; however, they were 0-2 on Monday night. Continue Reading →

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Vikings in bold move sign QB Freeman

Third-year quarterback Christian Ponder will no longer be treated with kid gloves. Last year Joe Webb was his backup; this year the Vikings in the off season signed veteran QB Matt Cassel as his backup. Last week, in a surprise move, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released starting quarterback Josh Freeman, and Sunday the Vikings signed the former Pro Bowl quarterback to a one-year $2 million deal. Freeman last season threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns. This season, he and Tampa Bay Head Coach Greg Shiano were at odds. Continue Reading →

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More Vikings impressions

 

 

According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome. A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years.  As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas.  “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”

 

J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown.  “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones.  He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns.  “We can’t splurge as much as we want to.  We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains.  “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”

“I’m a big football fanatic.  I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. Continue Reading →

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Vikings’ latest loss comes at high cost — for the team and fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This reporter normally people watches at sporting events, and attending my first Minnesota Vikings game in this century Sunday, I caught more than two eyefuls: Nordic flag waving, horn wearing and other pagan-like rituals. One man wore an “I Bleed Purple” shirt, and a very obviously pregnant woman fed her unborn child by guzzling beer as she walked to her seat. Meanwhile, a row of knuckleheads stood pretty much the entire game and blocked my field vision — all except three wore Adrian Peterson jerseys, but mostly all were decked head to toe in purple. The only thing missing was a human or animal sacrifice — but I can’t be 100 percent certain that didn’t take place, especially after the home team’s third

straight defeat of the 2013 season. Before the game, I spent about an hour walking in the dome’s concourse in search of Black fans. Continue Reading →

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Browns upset Vikings 31-27!

It was not supposed to end like this, not the final season of Vikings football at Mall of America Field (the Metrodome), which opened in 1982. The Cleveland Browns traded away their best player, running back Trent Richardson, mid-week to the Indianapolis Colts for the Colts number-one 2014 NFL Draft pick. Big trades are rare indeed during an NFL season. In fact, I can remember only one when the Vikings traded six players and six draft picks to Dallas for Herschel Walker. The deal gave the impression that the Browns had given up on 2013 and would come to Minneapolis and get spanked by the hungry Vikings. Continue Reading →

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How does the State of MN pay its $50 million?

Has there been a breach of contract?  
“Drop-dead” dates sends chills through lawyers advising legislators, executives and investors, because of the consequences of failing to comply with legal/contractual obligations on time. Minnesota’s Vikings drop-dead date is February 15, 2014: the date the NFL requires teams to submit notice if they will not play in their city in 2014. Will we save the stadium and our beloved Vikings? As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (“I have a dream”), Minnesota is pushing aside stadium employment equity and diversity considerations. Continue Reading →

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Lions roar, beat Vikings 34-24

What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Vikings, 10-6, were hungry and focused and determined to turn their program around — and they did. Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, ran for an incredible 2,097 yards while the team was 4-2 in the NFC North. In 2012, eight of the 12 playoff teams won their first game of the year. But NFL, by one definition, stands for Not For Long. Continue Reading →

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State bill aims for athletic concussion protection, prevention

Law would set standards for head injury care, education for student-athletes and those who work with them
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

(Originally published May 5, 2011 in the MSR)

A bill that would establish education and return-to-play standards for youth athletes following a concussion currently is moving through the Minnesota Legislature. Five states this year already passed such laws: South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado

and Utah. Bill supporters are optimistic that it will be passed before this year’s session concludes in May. A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. It is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, and can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Continue Reading →

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