At an NFL team owners meeting Monday in Washington, Goodell and league owners, including Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, faced questions about the controversy. Even the Cowboys and Redskins coaches were asked about the name at press conferences leading up to Sundays nationally televised game, events usually limited to discussions about game strategy and player updates.
Jones talked about it earlier this week on his radio show on 105.3FM KRLD The Fan: All team names have always been a positive attempt at the namesake. The intent is very positive. Im very sensitive and we should always listen to those that feel that youre being insensitive.
In his letter to the fans, Snyder quoted from a 2004 poll of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which found that 90 percent of nearly 800 people who identified themselves as Native Americans did not find the team name offensive.
But Halbritter and others reject the idea that a poll stands in the way of how they feel. Our people are offended, he said. It hurts people.
In a response to Snyder, he wrote, The marketing of this racial slur has had and continues to have very serious cultural, political, and public health consequences for my people and Native Americans everywhere.
Halbritter also said that, as for the teams storied history, the original team owner, George Preston Marshall, advocated segregation and that the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, in 1962.
The name is also the subject of a trademark violation lawsuit by a group of Native Americans. A ruling is pending from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the name being offensive and a racial slur.
But with Snyders promise to keep listening, Oneidas Halbritter said he has invited the team owner to come to the reservation.
During his visit, we will organize a special meeting of Oneida Nation families where Mr. Snyder can personally explain to them why he believes they deserve to be called redskins, he said.