On Wednesday, Alyssa Milano, managing to gain some attention amid the maelstrom as rioters and protesters express themselves around the nation, tweeted her opposition to the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
“We must end racism in its entirety. Allowing the @NFL to continue to use the @redskins name is destructive to Native communities and cannot be tolerated any longer,” the actress-turned-activist wrote. “Change the name.”
We must end racism in its entirety. Allowing the @nfl to continue to use the @redskins name is destructive to Native communities and cannot be tolerated any longer. Change the name @Redskins @nfl #TheTimeIsNow #ChangeTheName
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 1, 2020
But when there’s money involved, it seems Milano sings a different tune.
On the NFL Shop website, not only are there items that are part of Milano’s fashion line Touch emblazoned with the Redskins name, but there are also items from her line with the logo of the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s not as though Milano has not been warned before about her merchandise. Writing in Pacific Standard Magazine in February 2019, an indigenous woman, Terese Marie Mailhot, criticized Milano for selling Redskins paraphernalia:
I understand that you’ve been asked on Twitter to remove and apologize for selling Washington Redskins paraphernalia in your fashion line, Touch by Alyssa Milano. I want to articulate delicately and kindly, as I would to a friend, that I too would like you to remove Redskins merchandise from your line. I’d like you to acknowledge the slur as racist. I’d like to ask you to make commitments to support indigenous people beyond general statements, with concrete action.
I understand you might think this disapproval of the team’s name is a new development, and that people are eager to be offended by everything in today’s culture of allegedly stifling political correctness. In fact, Natives have been protesting derogatory team names and mascots since the 1960’s, when the National Congress of American Indians expressed serious disappointment with college and professional sports teams that use racial slurs or racist caricatures as mascots.
Milano’s capacity to condemn the Redskins name while simultaneously merchandise from her fashion line is sold with the Redskins name on it fits well with this recent statement of hers: “The world is gray. And as uncomfortable as that makes people, gray is where the real change happens. Black and white is easy. Gray is the place women can come together out of the glare of the election and speak our truths, our doubts, our hopes, our convictions and test them against the light and the dark.”
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