Oneida Indian Nation demands Redskins name change
The National Football League is holding its annual fall meeting in Washington, D.C. right now and Oneida Indian Nation held a meeting and press conference at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Georgetown to demand the Washington Redskins change their team name.
“Washington’s team name is a painful epithet that was used against my people when we were held at gunpoint and thrown off our lands,” said Ray Halbritter, a representative of the Oneida Indian Nation . “When marketed by a professional sports team, it is a word that tells Native American children they are to be denigrated.”
Of course, the Oneida Indian Nation meeting comes a mere three days after President Barack Obama, in response to a reporter’s question, said he’d think about changing the team name if he owned the Redskins.
Oneida Indian Nation is running the Change the Mascot campaign, which is aimed at getting the Redskins to drop their Amerindian names. The campaign includes running radio ads against the team name in every city the Redskins visit this year. Team owner Dan Snyder has said the team will “never” change its name.
Eleanor Holmes-Norton, who represents Washington, D.C. in the House of Representatives, is in favor a of a name change.
“Believe me, we love out Redskins now, but it does not have a glorious history,” Holmes Norton said as a third generation Washingtonian. She added that she could think of no reason to continue using a word that has a negative impact on any Americans “and especially our first Americans.”
Peter King, author of the popular Monday Morning Quarterback column at Sports Illustrated, has said he will no longer use the word Redskins.
The NFL will meet with Oneida Indian Nation this year. The meeting is scheduled for November in New York, but could happen sooner.