As NFL owners gathered in Washington for a fall meeting, the Oneida Indian Nation held a meeting of its own on Monday in the nation's capital to discuss its campaign to change the name of the city's resident football team.
"Change the Mascot" is a national campaign launched by the Oneida Nation to abolish the Redskins moniker that has been in place for eight decades. In addition to holding this week's symposium, the campaign has scheduled various TV appearances and is running radio ads in every city the Redskins play in this season.
“I can think of no argument for retaining a name that directly insults Americans and especially our first Americans,” D.C. congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a panel at the symposium.
The NFL, meanwhile, was invited to attend the symposium but talks on the issue will not occur until next month. Football officials have scheduled a Nov. 22 meeting with Oneida representatives and will not be discussing the name situation at Tuesday's owners' meeting. That sit-down could happen sooner, as sources have reportedly told the Washington Post.
“We respect that people have differing views,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “It is important that we listen to all perspectives.”
The Redskins organization released a statement over the weekend via attorney Lanny Davis defending the name, citing a 2004 poll that said nine out of 10 people surveyed did not mind the name and another from this spring with an eight out of 10 figure.