During Monday Night Football yesterday evening, Republican Ed Gillespie’s campaign aired the above ad spot in which the US Senate candidate vows to oppose a bill that would revoke the National Football League’s tax exempt status unless it changes the Washington, DC team’s name.

The word ‘Redskins’ is not merely derogatory towards Native Americans, it is an artifact of ethnic cleansing. As Baxter Holmes reported for Esquire this Summer,

(T)he term dates back to the institutionalized genocide of Native Americans, most notably when the Massachusetts colonial government placed a bounty on their heads. The grisly particulars of that genocide are listed in a 1755 document called the Phips Proclamation, which zeroed in on the Penobscot Indians, a tribe today based in Maine.

Spencer Phips, a British politician and then Lieutenant Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Province, issued the call, ordering on behalf of British King George II for, “His Majesty’s subjects to Embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and Destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians.” They paid well – 50 pounds for adult male scalps; 25 for adult female scalps; and 20 for scalps of boys and girls under age 12.

These bloody scalps were known as “redskins.”

The mascot of the Washington Redskins, if the team desired accuracy, would be a gory, bloodied crown from the head of a butchered Native American.

Ironically, Gillespie is a friend of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and chaired the Republican State Leadership Committee while it was embroiled in an Indian casino campaign cash scandal. His complete disregard for Native Americans apparently ends only when they ‘make it rain’ on his political partners.

  • Why is the NFL tax exempt? Well, time to do some research…

  • Cuanta

    That’s just terrible. We have to stop using these elements of the racist and genocidal history of our country in our present. The only place words like this belong is in history books.

  • Philli

    How can anyone with a conscious mind oppose such a bill? I would have liked to read some comments of his on how he could back up that decision, because it’s absolutely crazy.