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July 18, 2014

Ariz. Tribe Rejects Gift From Redskins Owner's Foundation

The Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe of Arizona has turned down an offer from the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to bankroll a $250,000 community project, terming it "bribe money" aimed to tamping down resistance to the football team's name, the Arizona Republic reports.

The tribe, which has been raising funds and seeking grant proposals to build a skate park at the Fort Yuma Reservation on the Arizona-California border, said the charity launched earlier this year by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder approached it with a "blank check" and designs for a facility done in burgundy and gold, the team's colors.

Tribal and civil rights groups have criticized the foundation, which funds projects to improve conditions for Native Americans, as an attempt by Mr. Snyder to deflect growing calls to jettison his team's nickname, widely considered a racial slur. In a statement, the Quechan Tribe said it "will not align [itself] with an organization to simply become a statistic in their fight for name acceptance in Native communities. ... We know bribe money when we see it."