Opponents of Washington Football Mascot to Hold Event On-Site at NFL Fall League Meeting

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U.S. lawmakers, Native American leaders, public health professionals and student activists will be among those gathering at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington to discuss the growing Change the Mascot movement.

A hotel in our nation’s capital will next week be the site for both the NFL’s Fall League Meeting and a high-level symposium on why supporters of Change the Mascot believe Washington’s NFL team should end its use of a racial slur as its mascot.

The Oneida Indian Nation will be holding a public conference on Monday, October 7 that will feature congressional lawmakers and other leaders who have joined its "Change the Mascot" campaign.

The Oneida Indian Nation, which is a sponsor of the NFL, is convening the meeting only weeks after its "Change the Mascot" national radio advertising campaign prompted NFL officials to urge that the league and its teams listen to those who are offended* by Washington’s team name and mascot. The meeting comes just a few months after students at the Cooperstown (NY) Central School District generated national headlines by voting to stop using the same racial slur for their team's name.**

The conference, which will be open to the press and the public, will be a chance for NFL officials, policymakers, and other concerned citizens to hear from federal legislators, community leaders and experts about the campaign. Among those speaking will be:

  • Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative
  • U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Washington, D.C.)
  • U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (Minnesota), Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus
  • Kevin Gover, Director of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian
  • Dr. Michael Friedman, a noted clinical psychologist who has done extensive research on the

psychological effects of stigma and discrimination

  • Dr. David Borgstrom, President of the Cooperstown (NY) Central School District Board of Education
  • Two students from Cooperstown (NY) Central School District who led the effort to change the school's mascot from "redskins" to "hawkeyes"

WHAT: U.S. Lawmakers, Cultural Leaders, Public Health Professionals, Students, the Oneida Indian Nation to Discuss "Change the Mascot" Campaign during NFL Fall League Meeting

WHERE: Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, 3100 South Street, N.W., Washington, DC 2007. The conference will take place in the Fahrenheit Ballroom

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Monday, October 7

RSVP: Brett Stagnitti – Oneida Nation Public Affairs Manager 315-829-8310

*Goodell: NFL should listen to 'Redskins' protests, 9/11/13, pro32.ap.org/article/goodell-nfl-should-listen-redskins-protests
**Cooperstown students vote to change mascot, 02/07/2013, centralny.ynn.com/content/news/637119/cooperstown-students-vote-to-change-mascot/

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Joel Barkin
Oneida Indian Nation
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