I swear, I thought this was a spoof story, a la The Onion,until I got down to the bottom and saw this:
“NAGA president Eunice Davidson released a statement through theg roup’s media advisors Global Impact Campaigns. Global Impact Campaigns is run by marketing and PR veterans who have worked as strategists for various government, political, and media organizations, including for former presidents George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Project Veritas.”
But Tasha Carvell is the state’s best reporter right now, and she has written the best North Dakota story of the year so far. Here’s her story:
North Dakota-based group sues the NFL’s Washington Commanders over
Fargo, ND, USA / The Mighty 790 KFGO | KFGO
Sep 25, 2023 | 12:32 PM
FARGO (KFGO) – A North Dakota-based nonprofit organization has filed suit against the NFL’s Washington Commanders football team, its new owner, and a prominent Native American advocacy group in federal court, claiming the team’s refusal to change its nickname back to the Redskins is an attempt to eradicate Native American history.
The Native American Guardians Association (NAGA) is based in Devils Lake. Its organizational mission is “to further cultural and ethnic awareness.” Eunice Davidson, a North Dakota resident and member of the Dakota Sioux tribe, is the group’s president. NAGA’s suit claims the Commanders and others conspired to attack NAGA’s integrity and silence the group rather than publicly responding after a petition it championed to return the Redskins nickname went viral this summer.
Washington’s NFL team hasn’t been called the Redskins since 2020. The team had faced decades of criticism that the moniker was offensive to Native Americans, including from major Native American advocacy groups such as the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), another of the named defendants in NAGA’s case.
More than a dozen Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for the league to force Snyder to change the team name in July of 2020. Then-owner Dan Snyder, also under pressure from sponsors during the national reckoning on racism following the death of George Floyd, finally dropped the name days later, despite having previously claimed he would never do so.
In February of 2022, the team announced its new nickname would be the Commanders.
A group led by billionaire Josh Harris assumed ownership of the team from Snyder this summer. Shortly afterward, NAGA claims, a petition the group was circulating on change.org “demanding that the Commanders’ new owner—Defendant Harris—change their team’s name back to the Redskins,” collected over 130,000 signatures.
“The name ‘Redskins’ carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture. It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration. Changing the name abruptly disregards the positive legacy that the Redskins name has built over the years and disorients the passionate fans who have invested their emotions, time, and unwavering support in the team,” the complaint reads.
In the current edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, redskin is defined as “an insulting and contemptuous term for an American Indian.”
At the end of August, Commanders President Jason Wright told reporters that a return to the former nickname “is not being considered. Period.”
The suit claims Commanders employees defamed NAGA, calling it a “fake group” after a long-time luxury box owner contacted the team in support of the petition. It also claims the Commanders, Harris, and the NCAI engaged in conspiracies to violate NAGA’s civil rights by working together to silence and defame the group.
NAGA president Eunice Davidson released a statement through the group’s media advisors Global Impact Campaigns.
“This is the ‘line-in-the-sand’ moment and we are fighting against cancel culture for ALL AMERICANS. Native Americans have been the target of this the longest, and we are standing our ground now and will fight fiercely to preserve our historic place in America, just like other figures and groups; however, we will not burn down our Nation or encourage any violence in our efforts. America is simply not for sale to this epidemic of cancel culture and DEI initiatives – NAGA will continue to fight to defend Her. We look forward to the discovery process in this lawsuit and exposing the truth before Lady Justice,” the statement reads.
Global Impact Campaigns is run by marketing and PR veterans who have worked as strategists for various government, political, and media organizations, including for former presidents George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Project Veritas.
A Commanders spokesperson says the organization believes the complaint is without merit, and we will address the matter in court.
The civil complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in the District of North Dakota, demands a jury trial.