Native Americans push NFL over Redskins name change

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Ray Halbritter AFP PHOTO

Ray Halbritter AFP PHOTO

NEW YORK CITY: Native Americans promised Wednesday to redouble efforts to force the Washington Redskins to change their racially charged name after a first meeting with the National Football League franchise.

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The campaign, ChangeTheMas-cot.org, has gathered pace since President Barack Obama said in an interview this month that he would favor a less offensive name for the team.

The casino-rich Oneida tribe in New York state, which is spearheading the campaign, held what it called an “unprecedented” meeting with the NFL to discuss the issue.

“The National Football League agreed to meet with us and recognize that it’s an important enough issue to discuss,” said Ray Halbritter, a representative of the Oneida Indian Nation and leader of the campaign.

Neither NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell nor Dan Snyder, the mogul who owns the Redskins, were at the meeting.

Snyder has refused to ever change the name.

Although Goodell said in a recent interview “we have to listen” if anyone feels offended by the name, he also said the decision was up to Snyder.

AFP

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