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Mayor Gray Applauded For Calling For Redskins Name Change

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The Redskins name and logo were the subject of a Smithsonian conference.
Keith Allison: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/6009909019/
The Redskins name and logo were the subject of a Smithsonian conference.

Native American activists are applauding D.C. mayor Vincent Gray for saying the Washington Redskins should consider changing its name. The team's nickname was a major topic of discussion at a day symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Gray recently said the football team should consider changing its name if it returned to D.C.

Former U.S. Senator Ben Knighthorse Campbell, one of the day's speakers, says that back in the '90s, he introduced a bill banning the use of the term Redskins on federally owned land,  and that's one of the reasons, according to Campbell, the team left for Maryland. He says city politicians at the time, "ran for the tall grass," but he says it looks like the times have changed, and pointed to Gray s comments.

Susan Harjo, a major native American activist and plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the Redskins, says she was so moved by Gray's remarks she sent him a letter, commending him and trying to see if the council could pass a resolution, reiterating support for a name change.

She also gave another reason for the team to change its name. She says since she filed her lawsuit in 1992, the club has not been back to the Superbowl.

"Good old fashioned Karma," she says.

Organizers of the event say the team did not respond to an invitation to participate.

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