After Redskins owner Dan Snyder wrote a letter to fans saying the “heritage” of the team’s name needed to be preserved, the Oneida Nation, which is seeking a name change, responded on Wednesday and said Snyder was not aware of the detrimental “health consequences” the team’s name was having on Native Americans.
Calling the Redskins name “a racial slur,” the Oneida Nation accused Snyder of opting to “omit from his letter” that the “original owner who gave the team its current name was an avowed segregationist. That suggests the team’s name was deliberately designed to denigrate people of color.”
“Unfortunately that ploy was successful. 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,” the Oneida Nation wrote. “It is clear from Mr. Snyder’s letter that he does not understand those consequences. So in the spirit of the dialogue that Mr. Snyder says he is willing to engage in, we are inviting him to join the NFL delegation in its upcoming meeting at our Homelands.”
In his letter on Wednesday, Snyder wrote: “After 81 years, the team name ‘Redskins’ continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come… We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.”