California becomes first state to ban ‘Redskins’ names, mascots for public schools

WASHINGTON — California became the first state to outlaw the use of “Redskins” as a team name or mascot for public schools, multiple media outlets report.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Sunday, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

The new law will affect four schools: Gustine High School, Calaveras High School, Chowchilla Union High School and Tulare High School. The schools are allowed to phase out the name on school materials, such as uniforms, because of cost concerns.

The bill had been defeated in the state four times since 2002 before passing the Assembly and being signed into law Sunday.

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata are applauding the law, calling it a “shining example” for the rest of the county.

“This landmark legislation eliminating the R-word in California schools clearly demonstrates that this issue is not going away, and that opposition to the Washington team on this issue is only intensifying. The NFL should act immediately to press the team to change the name,” Halbritter and Pata told The Los Angeles Times in a joint statement. 

The Redskins have been pressured to change their name over the years, but team president Bruce Allen said in August that the team would not consider changing its name.

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