NFL to meet with Oneida Tribe about Redskins name change

  • Michael Prosser

NFL spokesman Bran McCarthy will meet with representatives from the Oneida Indian tribe within the next month to discuss the Redskins name change (photo by Don Kaplan/New York Daily News)

See we told you this just wouldn’t go away!

The NFL has announced today that they will meet with members of the Oneida Indian Tribe after members of the tribe held a symposium to support their “Changing the Mascot” campaign. Despite the news, the NFL did not give a specific date, the fact that this is happening is huge!

Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL had this to say on the situation:

“We respect that people have differing views. It is important that we listen to all perspectives.”

But it looks like the NFL is about to endure more heat from some more of Washington’s “finest” as Betty McCollum, democratic US Representative from the State of Minnesota chimed in saying that the NFL has been allowing this promotion of a racial slur to go on for far too long:

“This name is going to go into the dustbin of history”

You would think that with all the heat coming from Democrats, this would turn into a Democrats vs Republicans issue right? Wrong! One of their own has publicly come out supporting the Redskins name staying the same as Redskins lawyer Lanny Davis, a registered Democrat and former member of the Clinton Administration, still stands by the name staying the same.

“The Washington Redskins support people’s feelings, but the overwhelming data is that Native Americans are not offended and only a small minority are.”

Lanny Davis on his stance on the issue

Davis continued by pointing out that most of the attacks are being cast on the Washington Redskins, not other teams with like-minded names such as the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Blackhawks, and Atlanta Braves.

Ray Halbritter,who represents the Oneida Indian tribe has been critical of the NFL stating that “It is hypocritical to say you’re America’s pastime but not represent the ideals of America.” and even addressed Davis’ comments with this statement:

“The name of Washington’s team is a dictionary-defined, offensive racial epithet. Those other names aren’t. But there is a broader discussion to be had about using mascots generally.”

 

 

When asked about the whole subject, Redskins guard Chris Chester said:

“It’s really tough. And I mean this sincerely: I get both sides of the argument.  I see how it can offend some people, but I feel like the context that this organization has, there’s no negative connotation. You wouldn’t name your team something you didn’t have respect for. At least I wouldn’t. I mean, I understand, too, that it offends some people, so I sympathize with both sides.”

 

This could be a tricky situation for the NFL as they have both the Oneida Indian tribe and Democrats breathing down their neck. The Redskins have been the Redskins for the last 80 years, and if this goes to some form of Court, you can bet the NFL will bring its heavy artillery from the Law Department which could get ugly for the Tribe. However with the powerful ally the Tribe has (besides Democrats, the allies include former Redskin players) who knows what’s going to happen. This isn’t going to be like the Concussion case where you can just pay someone money and that’s that, this could get ugly.

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Michael Prosser

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