Oneida Nation to NFL: Sanction Redskins, Ban Teams from Using 'Dictionary-Defined Racial Slurs'

Oneida Nation to NFL: Sanction Redskins, Ban Teams from Using 'Dictionary-Defined Racial Slurs'

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Oneida Nation asked the NFL to sanction the Redskins for using a “slur” and pass bylaws banning NFL teams from using “dictionary-defined racial slurs.”

Roy Halbritter, the Oneida Nation representative, also cited studies that claimed the Redskins name was a public health threat and bullies Native Americans. He called on Goodell, who has unilaterally sanctioned players for behavior off the field of play, to punish Snyder in a similar manner. 

Halbritter wrote:

“As Commissioner, you have exercised your authority to act pursuant to this provision under circumstances that are far less egregious than the use of a racial epithet as a team’s name, including imposition of sanctions for salary cap violations, prohibitions of on-field celebrations that do not reflect well on the game and punishing off-field misconduct by team officials.”

He then emphasized the name was “detrimental” to the welfare of the NFL. 

“We request that you use your power under section 8.13 to refer Washington team owner Dan Snyder to the league Executive Committee for possible sanctions should Mr. Snyder continue to promote a dictionary-defined racial slur that is clearly ‘detrimental to the welfare’ of the the NFL’s image,” he wrote. “If the Commissioner lacks the power to act, we request that you publicly say so.”

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has vowed that he would “NEVER” change the team’s name and Oneida Nation representatives met with NFL officials on Wednesday to discuss the matter. 

The letter can be read here