NFL to meet with Oneida Nation over Redskins name

The SportsXchange

A meeting between NFL executives and the Oneida Indian Nation is expected this month to discuss the use of Redskins by the Washington football franchise.

The initial meeting was scheduled for Nov. 22, but the NFL is practicing urgency as the matter picks up attention outside of sports.

The league had set up the initial meeting for New York City, but plans are subject to change. The NFL has said it is willing to meet in central New York, where Oneida Nation is based.

"This word is an insult -- mean, it's rude, it's impolite," said Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, at a Monday press conference. Gover is Native American. "We've noticed that other racial insults are out of bounds. We wonder why it is that the word that is directed at us, that refers to us, is not similarly off-limits."

Redskins' owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen have said the team doesn't plan to address the name, which some argue is a racial slur. Snyder said in May that the team would "never" change its name. Many notable sports franchises, including the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL and Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves, and NFL's Kansas City Chiefs have drawn lesser criticism.

USA Today reported Adolpho Birch, NFL vice president of labor and government affairs, wrote a letter to Peter Carmen, Oneida Nations Homelands CEO, to invite an earlier sitdown.

Multiple sports outlets, including Sports Illustrated's NFL site, are refusing to call Washington's pro football team by its nickname.

President Barack Obama said this week the issue of changing the Redskins' name should be subject to more dialogue.

"If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team - even if they've had a storied history - was offending a sizable group of people, I'd think about changing it," Obama said in an AP interview.

"I don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real, legitimate concerns that people have about these things."
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