Olympic Icon Billy Mills Comments on Washington D.C. Football Team Announcing Name Change

Gold Medalist and Native American Activist Calls for Lasting Change

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, Billy Mills, Olympic Gold medalist, Oglala Lakota, and National Spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth spoke out on the Washington D.C. football team’s decision to move away from their current name and imagery after years of protracted discussion.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing,” said Billy Mills, ​Olympic Gold medalist and National Spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth. ​“Now I urge the Washington football team to truly turn the page, and pick a new name and logo with no exploitation of Native people.

“They are on the verge of righting a historic wrong. What they do next will define this team’s legacy.”

The decades-long debate over the Washington D.C. football team’s name and logo culminated July 13 with an official statement from the Washington D.C. football’s press office declaring they are retiring the “Redskins” name and logo upon review. The team owner, Dan Snyder, and the National Football League commissioner, Roger Goodell, have long been under fire for their refusal to eliminate the racial slur from the League’s roster.

Upon time of release the Washington D.C. football team has yet to announce their new name and mascot imagery.

Running Strong for American Indian Youth works to help Native American communities meet their immediate critical needs. To learn more about our programs visit the Running Strong site at www.indianyouth.org or contact hanna@indianyouth.org.