Associated Press

NFL and Oneida Indian Nation Meeting This Week About Redskins Name Change


Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation and NFL officials will meet next week in New York City to talk about the on-going “Redskins” name-change controversy.

The meeting between the two groups was originally scheduled for the end of November, but the league asked to meet earlier, when the Nation held its “Change the Mascot” campaign symposium at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. That press conference, on October 7th, urged the NFL, whose fall conference was held in the same hotel, to drop the name.

Now, Oneida Nation spokesman Joel Barkin and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that the meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. According to USA Today, no location has been set. And McCarthy did not say if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would attend, only that “senior NFL executives” would be there.

When the meeting was first announced earlier this month, Ray Halbritter, CEO of the Oneida Indian Nation, told The Washington Post, “They know that we’re not going away,” and said that a meeting with the NFL was “a move in the right direction.” The Nation recently put out several “Change the Mascot” radio ads explaining just how offensive the team name is to Native Americans. Those ads are running in Denver, a day before the "Redskins" play the Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

RELATED Leading Washington Post Columnist Predicts Redskins Name Will Change Soon

Halbritter also told, that he hopes the team makes the right decision and changes the name.

"This is a defined term," Halbritter said. "It is derogatory, offensive and is a racial epithet. This is the word that was used when people were forced off their land at gunpoint when the motto was, 'Kill the Indian, save the man.'"

The NFL has adopted a position that defends the team’s name, but also expressed willingness to listen to those who say it is derogatory. Dan Snyder, the team’s owner, has said that he will “never” change the name, but said he respected the feelings of those offended by it. 

No word yet on whether Snyder will attend this meeting.



maureen schroeder's picture
maureen schroeder
Submitted by maureen schroeder on

I saw the hut you lived in, I applauded what you did for your tribe, however, stop pushing your weight around and being so ridiculous as to want an nfl team to change it's name.

Sam's picture
Submitted by Sam on

This topic is very important to the true Native American people of the United States. I reside out west and have frequent contact with Native American peoples. I know how important this issue is to them. The Washington Redskins; The Atlanta Braves, The Cleveland Indians and all the other sports teams in this nation that have these kinds of names should begin the name change process NOW! You don't hear names like the The Chicago Crackers; The Charlotte Blacks; The Los Angeles Orientals; The Houston Honkies; The San Antonio Wetbacks. This country has done enough damage to the "original peoples".

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

This is not an important matter to those people that are not Native American. The idea of " just get over it " is insulting. Is this really what America has become, a group of insensitive people that could care less what the meaning of Redskin is all about. For those ignorant enough to sit back and think it's just a word, you deserve to be isolated as an ignorant human being. As a proud Native American this word will not change me, as it is meant to. It will make me a stronger person and realize I still live among stupid people that are out for the all mighty dollar.It will not change my culture but it does make sit back and wonder why the NFL is sitting on their thumbs about this, but it's okay to have NFL players make up pretend girlfriends or have rape charges filed against their players.I guess because it helps make a dollar for the NFL. I won't sell my heritage and for thos ethat think they aren't hurting anyone by using this degrading name, look at the statistics for Native American youth committing suicide from low self esteem. A derogatory name for any nationality is just in poor taste. But then I'm sure when it comes to money people like the revenue from our casino and the taxes my people pay into this floundering economy.