A Native American organisation calling on the Washington Commanders to revert to calling itself the “Redskins” claims they have had a “tidal wave” of support in their battle with the NFL franchise.

As the NFL season approaches, the Native American Guardians Association (NAGA) petition to “put an end to cancel culture and #ReclaimTheName ‘Redskins'” is getting close to 100,000 signatures.

Billy Dieckman, a Kiowa Tribe member and NAGA adviser, said on “Fox & Friends First” on Tuesday, “We’re trying to dispel the myth that the name means bloody scalps or something derogatory and the deep, rich history behind the name. For elite warriors, it serves as a status symbol.”

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The group wrote to the Commanders’ management last week, “formally requesting the team revitalise its relationship with the American Indian community and rightfully change their name back to ‘the Redskins.'”

During a summer of racial strife in the United States in 2020, the team’s former owner Daniel Snyder changed the name from the Redskins to the Washington Football Team and then to the Commanders. In the words of Snyder, the moniker had “increasingly become a distraction from our primary focus of football” and needed to be changed “in the spirit of inclusivity.”

Dieckman replied, “Our fight is to restore this because it was taken away without our input or approval.”

“The imagery that you see is that of Chief Two Guns White Calf,” he continued. “That’s a real person, there’s a lot of times they say you need to get rid of your mascot. We don’t have a mascot. That’s a real person that was gifted to the Redskins in the NFL by the Blackfoot tribe as a forever gift. That’s one of the greatest warriors of all time.”

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Dieckman touted the “overwhelming” support surrounding the petition and recent polling of the symbolism in the community.

“90% of natives are in approval and see it as a proud symbol. The ones who know who Chief Two Guns White Calf is, it’s even higher in those areas.”

The Commanders team name debuted in 2022.

According to Dieckman, “Our voice has not been heard, and that is what NAGA is created to do, to battle that and to correct some of what has been erased.”