Oneida Indian leaders will meet with NFL officials in New York City next week to discuss their concerns over the name of Washington, D.C.’s professional football team, the Redskins.
Officials from the upstate New York tribe traveled to Washington, D.C. this week to garner support for their cause from local religious leaders.
Two D.C. radio stations created a stir last weekend when they pulled a Change the Mascot ad just hours before it was scheduled to air. The Oneida Indian Nation produced the ad as part of their grassroots movement to advocate for the change of a team name, mascot, and logo that they consider offensive and racist. Their goal is to air the ad wherever the Redskins are playing in any given week throughout the NFL season.
According to a press release on the Oneida Indian Nation website, the radio ad will air in Denver this weekend, ahead of the Redskins’ matchup with the Denver Broncos.
Ray Halbritter is a representative for the Oneida Indian Nation: “The current team owner has the opportunity to put himself and the franchise on the right side of history by halting the use of this harmful epithet and choosing a legacy of inclusion and mutual respect.”
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said that he will not change his team’s name. In a recent letter to Redskins season ticket holders, he said:
“It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride and respect – the same values we know guide Native Americans … I respect the opinions of those who disagree … I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81 year history …”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has adopted a carefully neutral stance on the controversy, but has said that the decision regarding a name change is ultimately up to one person: Dan Snyder.
It is not known if Goodell plans to attend the meeting with Oneida officials next week.
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