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Last night, Washington receiver Terrelle Pryor explained that he flipped a fan the bird following Monday night’s game against Kansas City after said fan called him a “nigger.” Like his middle fingers did on Monday, Pryor’s explanation drew a rash of media coverage, which sparked a response from the NFL’s head office.

On Thursday, the NFL announced its intentions to investigate and ban the fan that was comfortable being openly racist toward Pryor, issuing a statement saying the NFL has “no tolerance for racial comments directed to anyone.” Of course, neither the NFL or the dozens of writers or editors who rushed to cover the news took a single moment to realize the maddening irony Native American readers and fans were yet again subjected to when perusing headlines this morning.


The Denver Post:



SB Nation:

Sporting News:


The L.A. Times:



There are dozens of reasons why this happens, be it the centuries-old complacency found in the mainstream American press and its readers due to a clear lack of Native American representation among national media outlets; willful ignorance of the long-reported issue of a team boasting a clearly racist nickname despite having absolutely no historical Native American ties; or just plain ol’ laziness on the part of copy editors around the nation, who are just trying to file and get home. Whatever the cause, this is always the end result: Native Americans like myself who are more concerned with issues like abject poverty, food deserts, alcoholism, and the stark refusal of both the federal government and U.S. citizens to fully accept their responsibility to help or even pay attention to their fellow human beings past a single pipeline protest will continue to be ignored by the NFL as it hollowly boasts that the league has “no tolerance for racial comments directed to anyone.”