NFL Meeting With Native American Group is Just a Formality

By Andrew Fisher
Redskins name change
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell and the NFL have made it clear that they will evaluate the use of the nickname ‘Redskins’. The controversial name has been the topic of conversation for many years now, but the movement to change it didn’t really gain steam until this past summer. It all started when Washington Redskins‘ owner Daniel Snyder emphatically stated that his team would never change its name. We all know what happens when you say things like never.

As part of the NFL’s evaluation, the league agreed to meet with a Native American group known as the Onedia Nation. But what the meeting really boiled down to was simply the NFL listening to the group, and nothing more.

Here’s a statement the league released to PFT on the meeting:

“We met at the request of Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation. We listened and respectfully discussed the views of Mr. Halbritter, Oneida Nation Wolf Clan Representative Keller George and their colleagues as well as the sharply differing views of many other Native Americans and fans in general.  The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue to facilitate listening and learning, consistent with the Commissioner’s comments earlier this year.”

So when you really break this statement down, it sounds like the NFL met with the group as a mere formality or just to appease them. They’re holding up their end of the bargain to listen, but they don’t seem to have any intent of actually forcing Snyder’s team to change its name.

Sure, the NFL is ‘doing the right thing’ by listening. But what does it really matter if nothing is going to come of it? Until pressure really starts to mount from more Native American groups and other large groups of people, the safe bet is that Washington’s football team will keep its controversial name.


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