Washington face protests over Redskins name at Green Bay Packers
The campaign against the "Redskins" name will take a new stage on Sunday when Washington's team plays its first road game of the season in Green Bay.
The Oneida Indian Nation is vowing to take a campaign to every city that Washington's pro football team will visit this season, protesting that the name is a "racial slur". Packers fans entering Lambeau Field through the Oneida Nation Gate will be confronted by a protest against the use of the Redskins mascot and logo.
Brandon Stevens, an Oneida Nation official : "The warrior image is not the image we want to be portrayed. We've moved past the time of Western encroachment and how the West was won, and that's where all the images are taken from — when we were a valiant enemy. [Now] We're educators, we're community members, we have families and go to work like everyone else. Having those negative stereotypes takes us back 100 years."
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has vowed to never change the name but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week said that the league and team officials "need to be listening" to the growing calls for a name change.
Goodell added: "If one person's offended, we have to listen. And ultimately, it is Dan [Snyder]'s decision. But it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we're listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what's right."
Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said: "We are encouraged to see that Mr. Goodell is joining us and so many others in calling for a serious discussion about ending the Washington team's use of a racial slur. Mr. Goodell is absolutely right - it is time for the team's owners to start listening. If Dan Snyder continues to be dismissive of the concerns of Native Americans and disdainful of the fact his franchise bears a name that is defined in the dictionary as an epithet, it will be incumbent upon the other owners, the League and the Commissioner to step in and take action."
The campaign against the name has been stepped up this week with a new radio advertisement which can be found at www.changethemascot.org.
The Packers declined to comment, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Journal-Sentinel: "We respect that reasonable people may have differing views. The name from its origin was always intended to be positive and has always been used by the team in a highly respectful manner."