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Expert Advice: Renaming Washington's NFL Team

Associate Professor Dr. Catherine McKinley adds her expertise in studying how historical oppression negatively affects mental health of Indigenous populations to a Seattle Times article on the name change to the National Football League team in Washington.

“Dehumanizing media images have really been used since the beginning of colonization to denigrate native groups,’’ McKinley said. “So this is just a continued form of historical oppression. What these dehumanizing images do, they directly negatively affect mental health in the form of anxiety, depression, distress, but also physical health, social health and economic mobility.

“So it perpetuates the oppression. The Washington team has directly benefited from this oppression of native groups. I see that last year their revenue was almost $500 million, which is in the top five of the NFL. It would make sense, since they’ve directly benefited from the denigration of Native Americans through perpetuating this dehumanizing image, that they would invest in the native communities with some of the profits they’ve gained.”

Read the full Seattle Times article here.