Sponsors pull from KTNN fundraiser due to Redskins involvement

By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
Navajo Times

CHANDLER, Ariz., April 17, 2014

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After sponsors pulled their support for the KTNN celebrity golf tournament due to a sponsorship from the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, some placed shame on their actions.

KTNN hosted the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation KTNN Celebrity Golf Tournament to raise college scholarship money for Native students.

But just days before the event they accepted a sponsorship from the Washington Redskins OAF that caused the Notah Begay III Foundation and the National Indian Gaming Association to pull their support and sponsorship from the event.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder established the Washington Redskins foundation to "provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities."
During the closing presentation of the event held on April 12 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, some made public remarks about the organizations that pulled from the tournament.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly spent his afternoon on the course and after the sponsors of the event were recognized, gave a speech on the need for college scholarships and how the event was helping to fulfill that need.

"We'd like to say thank you to the sponsors. I believe we lost one sponsor, which is National Indian Gaming Association. I'm very disappointed in them," Shelly said in his speech.

Arizona State Senator Carlyle Begay said his reason for competing in the tournament was simple.

"…I believe in this debate we lose focus of the larger issue of the greater need and importance of supporting college scholarships and education for our Native youth," he said. "The proceeds of the event were to benefit Native American college scholarships and increase the number of Native Americans in broadcast journalism, broadcast engineering, and broadcast management. Of greater concern to me is the future generation of our people and supporting the education for our nations next generation of leaders."

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