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Redskin is a slang term for Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada. The term "redskin" underwent pejoration through the 19th to early 20th centuries and in contemporary dictionaries of American English it is labeled "usually offensive", "disparaging", "insulting", or "taboo". The origin of the choice of "red" to describe Native Americans in English is debated. While related terms were used in anthropological literature as early as the 17th century, labels based on skin-color entered everyday speech around the middle of the 18th century. "At the start of the eighteenth century, Indians and Europeans rarely mentioned the color of each other's skins. By midcentury, remarks about skin color and the categorization of peoples by simple color-coded labels (red, white, black) had become commonplace." Although the term has almost disappeared from common use, it remains as the name of many sports teams. Most prominent was the National Football League team in Washington, D.C. After decades of resistance to change by the owner, management and fans; major sponsors responded to calls to end systemic racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by advocating a name change. In July 2020 the name "Washington Redskins" was retired, with a new name to be selected later.
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