Wash. Gov. Inslee signs bill banning sports teams’ use of Native American mascots


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee approaches a podium outside of the governor’s mansion on the Capitol campus Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

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UPDATED 7:19 AM PT – Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The governor of Washington signed legislation banning state schools from using Native American names. Democrat Jay Inslee signed the bill into law during a press conference on Monday.

The measure bans the use of Native American themed names, symbols and images as school mascots unless received approval from a tribal government. The legislation also creates a grant program to help cover some of the costs for new names and imagery that may come as schools will be required to replace their mascots ahead of the upcoming school year.

“This bill will end the disrespectful use of Native American imagery in our public schools, thanks Representative Lekanoff as the prime sponsor of this bill,” Gov. Inslee stated while signing the bill.

The legislation is slated to take effect in the coming school year and will affect most public schools in the state.

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