Oneida Nation reps disappointed with NFL over Washington nickname
After a meeting with three NFL representatives at the league’s New York headquarters, representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation expressed disappointment that the league does not appear ready to push for a nickname name change for the Washington Redskins.
“We are very disappointed,” Oneida Nation spokesman Joel Barkin said. “This is the beginning of a process. It's clear that they don't see how this is not a unifying term. They don't have a complete appreciation for the breadth of opposition of Native Americans to this mascot and name.”
Today’s meeting occurred a day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with Washington team owner Daniel Snyder, who repeated to Goodell that he doesn’t plan a name change, according to the Washington Post. Goodell, who was traveling, did not attend today’s meeting.
Oneida Nation representatives, who believe the term “Redskins” is racist, have asked NFL executives to sanction Snyder for conduct detrimental to the league by continuing to use a team nickname and mascot that “promote a dictionary-defined racial slur.”
The 90-minute meeting took place with Oneida Nation representatives and three NFL officials - Jeff Pash, Adolpho Birch and Paul Hicks. The Oneida officials asked to meet with all owners the week of Super Bowl XLVIII, which is being played Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium.
"We met at the request of Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We listened and respectfully discussed the views of Mr. Halbritter, Oneida Nation Wolf Clan Representative Keller George and their colleagues, as well as the sharply differing views of many other Native Americans and fans in general. The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue to facilitate listening and learning, consistent with the commissioner's comments earlier this year."
Goodell has said that if anyone is offended by the nickname, then the league should listen.