California Assembly Approves Ban on Redskins Mascot

Political Connection
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SAN ANDREAS-

The Redskins of Calaveras High School were out on their campus field Monday for the first sanctioned day of spring practice.

Their home turf and that of the Washington Redskins are 2,800 miles apart, but these two teams are in about the same place when it comes to their names -- under the gun.

"All Calaveras Redskins...we take it with pride. We don't mean it in a disrespectful way," said Calaveras linebacker Wade McCann.

"Realistically we take a lot of pride in it. We don't do it in a derogatory way or a way that's 'cartoony,' I guess for lack of a better word, but we take a lot of pride in it and how we represent it," said Football Coach Jason Weatherby.

"I mean everybody has to have their opinions you know. I like being a Redskin...you know since I was in fourth grade, so it would be a weird kind of change," Dylan Byrd, the quarterback of his school's team.

And though shirts for the San Andreas school say "There's no substitute for red," that's just what AB 30 says teams here and at four other schools would have to find for their 2017 seasons now that that bill has passed the state Assembly.

The effort to make change at the professional and public school levels is all about removing the racial stigma of a dehumanizing term for Native Americans.

"We have friends  that are Miwok -- 100  percent -- he finds a lot of pride in it. As long as you're taking it with pride then it shouldn't be taken away," McCann said.

That friend and other Native Americans Fox40 approached didn't want to comment about the progress of AB 30.

Many believe there is no way to carry on such a team tradition with respect, saying it would be just as inflammatory as calling a team the New York "N-words" even though some African-Americans use the term among themselves.

Bill author Assemblyman Luis Alejo saying via statement "It's time that we as a state take a stand against racial slurs used by our public schools."

So has there been any discussion as to what Calaveras might call itself if there is a forced name change?

"Hasn't been a real favorite, that more than one person has liked it," Weatherby said.

Byrd said  he'll miss the long-standing tradition, but can see why some say it has to go.

"I understand, yeah," he said.

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