Oneida Indian Nation Responds to President Obama's Historic Comments About Washington's NFL Team Name
The President’s comments come just two days before the Indian Nation's "Change the Mascot" symposium at the NFL Fall Meeting
In an interview with the Associated Press published today, President Obama spoke out about the Washington NFL team's continued use of a racial slur as its name. The president's comments come as the Oneida Indian Nation's headline-grabbing "Change the Mascot" advertising campaign has helped fuel a national discussion on this issue, and has convinced NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to publicly say the NFL should be listening to its critics.
"As the first sitting president to speak out against the Washington team name, President Obama's comments today are historic," said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. "The use of such an offensive term has negative consequences for the Native American community when it comes to issues of self-identity and imagery. We will continue to push our cause because at the end of the day this is about doing right by our children who are especially impressionable.
"As a proud NFL sponsor, we also believe the name sends a destructive and divisive message about a league that is supposed to be a unifying force. The President's comments today add momentum to our campaign to get the NFL to urge Daniel Snyder to change the Washington team's name. The NFL and Washington owner Daniel Snyder should borrow a page from the President and use the changing of the football team's name as a teachable moment."
As part of its "Change the Mascot" campaign, the Oneida Indian Nation has been airing radio ads in Washington, D.C. and cities where the Washington team plays. These ads can be found at www.changethemascot.org