American Indian Leaders to Washington Team Owner Dan Snyder: Yes, We are Offended by Your Team’s Name

The Campaign against the NFL Team Name Intensifies

The Campaign against the NFL Team Name Intensifies

And No, We will not be Ignored!

ONEIDA NATION HOMELANDS, NEW YORK — Washington NFL team owner Dan Snyder and other team representatives, including loyal employees and a subsidized group composed of former players, recently claimed that they haven’t heard from any American Indians who are offended by the team’s name. The Change the Mascot campaign is now calling upon the team to recognize the large number of major tribal organizations and American Indian leaders who have openly stated their opposition.

The Change the Mascot campaign is decrying attempts by Washington NFL team owner Dan Snyder and his surrogates to pretend that no Native Americans are opposed to the team’s name. Campaign leaders the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Oneida Indian Nation are calling upon the team to recognize the large number of Native American organizations and leaders who strongly oppose the team’s continued use of the dictionary-defined R-word racial slur.

Snyder recently made light of his team’s offensive name by saying: “it’s sort of fun to talk about the name of our football team.”* In the latest cynical PR move by the team, which backfired heavily, former Washington team kicker Mark Moseley appeared on T.V. and used a second racial slur to defend the team’s continued use of the R-word. “No red men have said anything derogatory to me about it,” Moseley said.

In response, NCAI Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter stated:

“It adds insult to injury that not only does the team not take to heart the deep harm they’re causing through the use of this disparaging epithet, but that they continue to ignore our very existence by claiming that they haven’t heard from any Native Americans who are opposed to the team’s name. Dan Snyder continues to live in a bigoted billionaire bubble if he is unable or unwilling to see that huge numbers of Native Americans and others from various walks of life all across this country find the team’s name incredibly offensive.”

“If Dan Snyder really wants to hear opinions from Indian Country, maybe he should accept our continued invitations to meet and discuss this issue, or ask the major tribal organizations what they think. Rather than dropping by cherry-picked reservations in his private jet with promises of new iPads and skate parks branded with the team logo, why doesn’t he take the time to meet with Native American organizations which have zero financial interest in a name change to hear why we think it’s such a vital issue for he and his team to stop denigrating us with their racist mascot?”

“Snyder and his employees should stop using cheap PR tactics to imply that they’re honoring the very Native Americans who are telling him that we are offended and are being ignored. It is the height of arrogance for Snyder and his employees to dictate to people of color how we should feel about being the target of a racial slur.”

Change the Mascot urges Snyder and others affiliated with the team to take a look at what American Indians are saying about the issue. Below is a list of the major tribal organizations, leaders and members who oppose the name, as well as a list of the letters and resolutions passed by American Indian tribes and organizations opposing the R-word mascot.

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