Oneida Indian Nation Issues Response to Comments by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Washington’s Team Name

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The Oneida Indian Nation, which leads the national Change the Mascot campaign, responded to remarks reportedly made today by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell related to the name of Washington’s football team.

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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.

The Oneida Indian Nation, which leads the national Change the Mascot campaign, responded to remarks reportedly made today by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell related to the name of Washington’s football team. Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said:

“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. 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."

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Brett Stagnitti
Oneida Indian Nation
+1 (315) 829-8310
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since: 09/2013
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