Founder and CEO of IllumiNative Crystal Echo Hawk discussed Wednesday changing the “racist” mascots of sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Chiefs, on MSNBC.
“Let this be the call to action going forward that we need to eliminate all Native American racist sports mascots,” Echo Hawk said, referring to the recently changed name of the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Commanders.
“And I think that there’s just an opportunity now to just turn our gaze to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves, and the over a thousand schools in this country that still carry Native American mascots and racist sports mascots as part of their team names,” Echo Hawk continued. “So I think there’s a huge opportunity going forward and we’re certainly going to work to pressure the team to really look at how they do that repair, how they repair the harm and we’ve made that clear to them.” (RELATED: REPORT: The Washington Redskins Will Pick A New Name ‘As Soon As Possible’)
Echo Hawk’s group, IllumiNative, describes itself as an organization that “fosters meaningful participation from a diverse and committed collective of Native storytellers, artists, youth, organizers, tribal and grassroots leaders as well as non-Native partners in entertainment, media and social justice.”
In May 2021, IllumiNative accused “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kenya Moore of “dehumanizing” Native peoples by wearing a headdress as part of a Halloween costume.
“I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume,” Moore said. “I now realize that this was both disrespectful and insensitive and would never have done it if I had that knowledge and understanding beforehand. I regret it. When you know better, you do better. I am genuinely sorry.”