Tribal Leader Rejects Random Cold-Call Invite by 'Redskins'
In what appeared to be a clandestine move to garner support from Native American leaders, an intermediary for the Washington Redskins on Thursday contacted the leader of a small Nevada tribe and invited him to Washington, D.C., for a news media event with team owner Daniel Snyder.
According to USA TODAY Sports, Chairman Joseph Holley of the Battle Mountain Band of Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians declined the invite. The person who contacted Holley allegedly called on behalf of the team from a Corona, California-based company, representatives of the National Congress of Americans said. NCAI broke the news last week.
“Someone working for the team called me out of the blue to invite me to a meeting in D.C. with the team and its owners and wanted to know what I thought of the team name,” Holley said in a statement by the NCAI released to USA TODAY Sports. “They did not tell me what the meeting was about, what I would be doing or who else was invited and wanted my answer in just a few hours. My answer was no. I’ve got responsibilities to my community and members here at home and can’t be running off to D.C. at a moment’s notice to meet with a football team to do who knows what.”
Washington Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie told USA TODAY Sports that Snyder was out of the United States last week and next and there is a team media event Wednesday. Wyllie did not say if that event would include tribal leaders.
A statement released by the Oneida Indian Nation to Indian Country Today Media Network condemned the team’s curious cold-call campaign to Native American tribal leaders.
“Rather than openly engaging with leading Native American, civil rights and religious organizations who represent millions and are calling on the NFL to change the R-word mascot, the Washington NFL team is reportedly carrying out a secret campaign to enlist Native Americans willing to stand with them at an undisclosed press event,” the statement read.
Likewise, Jacqueline Pata, NCAI’s executive director, told USA TODAY she thought the Washington team treated American Indians as props.
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