President Obama is criticizing sports teams who, he says, harbor “racial stereotypes” that are deemed offensive by some Native Americans.
During the White House Conference with Tribal Nations this afternoon, Obama specifically referred to “a certain NFL team here in Washington” that was part of the problem. He demanded that school sports teams should work quickly to remove offensive Native American mascots in schools.
“In terms of eliminating racism or stereotypes, that’s an obligation of the entire society but it’s especially important in a school,” he said.
With Adidas officials present, Obama praised the company for working with schools to rebrand sporting teams and uniforms with “offensive” mascots.
“If you walk into a school the first day and you are already feeling that stereotypes are embedded the culture and the cheers and all that, that kid is feeling set apart and different,” he said.
The Adidas program was announced earlier today prior to the White House event.
Sports can change lives. We’re honored to visit the @WhiteHouse Tribal Nations Conference today to support high school mascot name changes.
— adidas (@adidas) November 5, 2015
Thanks to these programs, Obama explained, schools “really don’t have an excuse” for keeping such mascots.
“I don’t know if Adidas made the same offer to a certain NFL team here in Washington but they might wanna think about that as well,” he said, calling it a “smart thing to do.”