U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei spoke to the House on Tuesday in support of the Oneida Indian Nation's efforts to have the Washington Redskins team name changed. Maffei said the team name is deeply offensive and should be changed out of respect.
"The name of Washington football team is derogatory to the Native Americans of this country," Maffei said. "For many Native Americans across the lands, the name of the Washington football team is a deeply personal reminder of a legacy of racism and generations of pain."
The Oneida Indian Nation says it was disappointed the National Football League defended its Washington team using the name Redskins in a meeting between the two parties.
Representatives from the nation met for an hour on Wednesday with senior league executives. The meeting was moved up a few weeks, but did not happen on Oneida territory in upstate New York as the nation had hoped.
The Oneida say the use of the name 'Redskins' is racist and offensive to Native Americans.
Oneida nation to discuss Redskins controversy with NFL
The Oneida Indian Nation will meet Wednesday with National Football League officials to discuss its desire to have the Washington Redskins team change its name.
The Oneida say the name is a racial slur to Native Americans. They've been putting pressure on the league and team in recent weeks to change it. The team's owner has defended the name, saying it's a badge of honor.
A poll conducted by the Oneida Indian Nation has found that a majority of Washington D.C. residents wouldn't be bothered if the city's professional football team changed its name.
The poll, released Wednesday, finds 55 percent of residents say it would make no difference if the Washington Redskins went by a different mascot. A quarter of those surveyed said they would be less of a fan, but 18 percent said they would be more.
The owner of the Washington Redskins professional football team has responded to charges from the Oneida Indian Nation that its name is offensive by saying the name and logo are "a badge of honor," not a label.
Owner Daniel Snyder wrote a two page letter to fans today saying, in part, "it is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect - the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans."
The National Football League has expressed interest in moving up a previously scheduled meeting with the Oneida Indian Nation to discuss the nation's desire to have the Washington Redskins team change its nickname.
That meeting could now happen on nation territory in a few weeks.
The governor is optimistic Oneida and Madison Counties will go along with the deal he struck last week with the Oneida Indian Nation over casino gambling. The state also reached a deal with St. Regis Mohawk leaders this week. The Seneca Nation is the remaining holdout tribe still in dispute with the state over gambling