Calls for DC football team to change name finally heard

ABC News’ Kyra Phillips reports on Washington, D.C.-area Native Americans who fought for years to change the name of Washington’s NFL team.
6:30 | 08/08/20

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Transcript for Calls for DC football team to change name finally heard
A sports leagues balance how to safely play amid the pandemic the NFL is moving forward with plans to resume its season this fall. And a team will have a very different look as the Washington football team plans to take to the field without its former name. Defended by added to the franchise for years despite being considered a racial slur but. A lot of pressure from advertisers and sponsors after a summer of racial unrest in protest. The native Americans in the DC area it's a change that is long overdue ABC's cure Phillips has their story. This is a cultural calling them. From the uptown Boone's. Sounds to summon all nations inner tribal to data. And make it known. For change has been hurt him. For decades native Americans like Mary Phillips who is Laguna Pueblo and Omaha. Have student protest. Battling to persuade schools colleges and professional sports teams like Washington's NFL team. To drop American Indian names and mascots. That many people deemed derogatory. You don't even say. The word Redskins even asked me not to seat in the inner you forgive me I just want to put in reference here he referred to it as the and because it's the word that. Conjures up so many horrible spots. Trying to educate people to understand that this word. This teen celebrates that's actually celebrates the color of my skin by seeing that it is red and their for we can call you this name that. From you know history that proves that you are. Worth 200 dollars your hate your scalp is worth 200 dollars and people would hunt you down for that. Six years ago US senators sent this letter to the NFL. Urging the league's two abandoned the team name but it went nowhere. I know and then came the worldwide calls for changed after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The country galvanizing to confront racism. Can take down historically. Racist symbols. Like this monument of longtime former NFL owner George Marshall. Checkered with the racial past Marshall oppose desegregation. And was the last NFL owner to immigrate his roster. Later saying his team name was a nod to bravery. So just the fact that his statue is no longer here. I mean what does that mean to you we felt that cut across Indian Country. Symbolism. Honor it's how American Indians retain their culture. And tear in a picky Marilyn from sacred grounds and retaining respect. Is the way of the Piscataway nation so Billy I couldn't help CV. Only magnet on your refrigerator. Is this when exactly loaded team. I hate the name exactly right if your racist term and it's time for it could be buried. And it seems like it's being buried once and for all. From George Floyd the protests the demonstrations. This raised a conversation around this country. Abd Al racism. This is a spend all of them black lice matter. No matter how much pressure we put on for almost forty years and then do any good. But what's happened there's a new awareness in the United States and around the world. All people are created equal everybody has looked thin layer of skin on them there may be a different color but you still have a hard. Longs will have the same organs underneath. And guide god made us human beings you know Darius Miller racism in my mind now. Eighty years old days scantily Indian chief Billy red wing Thai hoc hails from quite a history. Five generations of activism. For tribal and cultural survival force it like to be featured in time magazine well let me tell you something here. Had to do what you have to do. You speak from the heart and he's done that his entire life from a young tribal leader who is nation's chief. Billy has campaigned to compel all American Indians to unite and reclaim their Harry teach by losing the name. How is that going. To help. Other people. Understand. The American Indians. Batter. So social change your first time in May be. Eighty years. The report that team here and they Trenton stole pride and be having that name and everything but other people may liked it. But it is it hurts. And while the cry for social justice was strong so was the corporate pressure. Owner Dan Snyder's decision to change the name went from years of total resistance. To grudging acceptance. Daniel should matter owner of football team Naia. He but got to borrow political pressure. There's not basically about how people feel. It's a vote he's losing his Aaron for parents and and with mr. Schneider what put the pressure again to change the name money talks. I'll want him to look so something not just in the past but we're modern people. We didn't die and 189 used to race of people we survived the genocide out of practices of the United States government. The cultural genocide or practice of people you know what I wish deal here. Cross into Canadian side she's billion. And Mary Phillips never intended to scene cause asthma rates in this. I am a strategic move we now have a voice and it hasn't power of gas that stand up. And you have to fight and if it's not we will only do. He comes only. So many feeling empowered during this time our thanks to cure the team released a statement last month saying they'll be called the Washington football team for the upcoming season until a permanent name is adopted and the team's former logo depicting a native American has also been officially retired.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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