MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - As Washington comes to Minnesota to take on the Vikings on Thursday Night Football, a rally has been set to call on Washington to drop the "Redskins" mascot.
The team has faced scrutiny for years over the continued use of the slur as its team mascot.
David Glass, the president of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media and a member of the White Earth Nation, argues it’s time Washington and the NFL said goodbye to the name.
"We don’t say it," explained Glass. "It’s the ‘R’ word. It’s the ‘R’ word for us. Like ‘N’ word is for the African-American community. It’s a dark piece of history. It’s very offensive."
Glass explained the term dates back hundreds of years to a period where American Indians were slain and their killers paid for the scalps.
When Washington arrives at U.S. Bank Stadium Thursday, Glass is helping organize what he hopes will be a large protest of thousands in the Commons Park right across the street.
David Glass is organizing the protests on Thursday.
There, the state’s tribal governments are set to join forces with Glass’ coalition and other supporters with a simple message as kickoff approaches.
"It’s not about violence, calling people names, throwing things or doing anything else," said Glass. "We’ve had incident-free rallies wherever we go in the country."
The coalition rallied at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 -- the last time the Vikings and Redskins squared off in Minnesota. It is said to be one of the biggest sports nickname demonstrations of its kind. For a movement that has also attacked Major League Baseball and the Cleveland Indians for its use of the Chief Wahoo caricature.
"We’re into dialogue," said Glass. "Talk to us. Let’s start a dialogue. Let’s have a talk and we’ll get to a place where we all agree together."
A spokesperson for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the mayor will be attending the rally.
The group will rally across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium as the Vikings host the Redskins.
Full statement from the Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings recognize the sensitivity of this issue. Minnesota has a significant Native American population and our franchise has strong, positive relationships with several tribal nations and Native American leaders within the state.
We have maintained an ongoing and respectful dialogue with the Native American community, as well as with other state leaders, on this matter and continue to participate in conversations regarding the upcoming game.
In terms of in-game elements, we are obligated as a member of the NFL to operate and market the game as we would any other Vikings home game.
We respect and support our local community voices having an opportunity to be heard. As with all of our games, our primary focus will be on providing a positive game day experience for Vikings fans. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that successful game experience.