Oneida Nation Thanks Hall of Famers For Urging Dialogue on Redskins Name Change

July 24, 2013

The following is a press release sent July 23 by the Oneida Nation:

The Oneida Indian Nation wishes to thank football hall of famers Art Monk and Darrell Green for their statements Monday urging Washington’s NFL franchise to consider dropping the “Redskins” mascot. 

Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said, “For those of us in Central New York who have long adored our local Syracuse University legend, Art Monk's greatness is nothing new - and with his powerful statements about respect for others' culture, he continues to make this community proud.”

“The memory of Mr. Monk's storied professional football career is inherently tied to the Washington Redskins brand. That means the decision by him and his teammate Darrell Green to publicly speak out against the Redskins bigoted brand is an act of selfless courage - one that says the fight against prejudice is more important than any one individual. As two of the greatest athletes ever to play for Washington's football franchise, Mr. Monk and Mr. Green have added their truly powerful voices to a grassroots campaign against the mean-spirited mascot-ization of our indigenous culture.”

“This is a campaign that has many faces and many voices. Just a few months ago, we saw the high school in the hometown of the baseball hall of fame officially replace the "redskins" name with a new moniker.  Kids at the high school expressed precisely the same sentiment that Mr. Monk and Mr. Green did today. They have joined a growing movement around what should be a universally accepted idea: that denigrating this country's indigenous people by promoting ugly stereotypes is unacceptable in the 21st century.”

“As the representative of one of those indigenous peoples, I want to thank and commend Mr. Monk and Mr. Green for their leadership just as I did the children of Cooperstown. Together, they are teaching this country a critical lesson about the ideals of mutual respect and inclusion.”

UPDATE: Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter spoke with Washington’s WTOP 103.5 FM Wednesday concerning the nation's approbation for former Washington Redskins and NFL Hall of Famers Art Monk and Darrell Green. On Tuesday, Monk and Green encouraged the football club to “seriously consider” discussions on the offensive nature of the name.

“It’s not always easy to speak, but it’s necessary,” Halbritter told WTOP. “It’s important that what we stand for is inclusion and mutual respect.”

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