MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After taking steps to ban the use of the Washington, D.C. football team’s name in an upcoming NFL match at TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis City Council members say they’ve been told they have no authority to do so.
City council members Blong Yang and Cam Gordon released a statement Wednesday, saying the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office came to the conclusion after researching – per the city council’s request – whether the city has standing to enforce a ban of “Redskins” when the team plays the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2.
According to the city attorney’s office, the city has no jurisdiction over speech on property owned by the University of Minnesota because it is a state entity, not a municipal entity. That’s according to the “Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights v. University of Minnesota” case in 1984, where the court said “civil rights problems are not confined to a metropolitan area but, rather, are a statewide problem, [and therefore] Minneapolis’ powers to regulate civil rights must be narrowly construed.”
“We agree that the continued use of a racial slur as the name of the Washington, D.C. football team is reprehensible and injurious to Indigenous People—especially children—and we agree that the name should be changed immediately,” Yang and Gordon’s statement said. “Unfortunately, under these circumstances, the City of Minneapolis does not have the authority to enact and enforce such a ban.”
The council members say they will continue to speak out against the team name in their capacity as community leaders and that racial slurs are not welcome in Minneapolis.