More than 100 demonstrators gathered Sunday outside FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, to protest the name of the NFL team and mascot on the final game of the season.
While organizers had hoped for a bigger turnout, according to the Washington Post, the protest marked the largest of its kind at a home game.
The crowd reportedly formed at a church a short distance from the stadium before marching up a road heavily trafficked by Washington fans going toward the stadium from parking lots. Protesters of all ages, both Native Americans and activists of other ethnicities, held signs and chanted as people walked past.
The event was organized by several groups that have spoken out against the use of Native American imagery in sports.
Organizations like the National Congress of American Indians, The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, and Change the Mascot have argued that such mascots dehumanize Native Americans, reducing them to racist stereotypes rather than real people facing real challenges. They say such imagery makes it harder for indigenous people to advocate for themselves, and also has direct effects on the psychological health of Native youth.
While most fans walked past the protest in silence, other supporters of the Washington team name were confrontational.