WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the Redskins organization’s continued use of its team name on Friday, and at least one Native American group has since voiced public condemnation of him for it.
Goodell, issuing his annual ‘State of the NFL’ press conference, said the Redskins nickname has been “presented in a way that honors Native Americans.”
Oneida Indian Nation has issued a response:
“It is deeply troubling that with the Super Bowl happening on lands that were once home to Native Americans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would use the event as a platform to insist that the dictionary-defined R-word racial slur against Native Americans is somehow a sign of honor,” said Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter.
“Commissioner Goodell represents a $9-billion brand with global reach, yet insists that it is somehow no big deal that his league uses those vast resources to promote this slur. In the process, he conveniently ignores all the social science research showing that the NFL’s promotion of this word has serious cultural and psychological effects on native peoples. Worse, he cites the heritage of the team’s name without mentioning that the name was given to the team by one of America’s most famous segregationists, George Preston Marshall. He also somehow doesn’t mention the heritage of the R-word itself, which was as an epithet screamed at Native Americans as they were forced at gunpoint off their lands.”
“The fact that Mr. Goodell doesn’t seem to know any of this – or is deliberately ignoring it – suggests that for all his claims to be listening, he isn’t listening at all.”
D.C. councilmember Marion Barry sounded off earlier, via Twitter, pleading for Dan Snyder to announce on Super Bowl Sunday he’s changing the name, adding, “I do note that most of the people who dont want to change the name haven’t been the subject of slurs.Walk in our shoes to know how it feels.”
There was plenty more from Barry, which you can read about here.
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