Oneida Indian Nation calls for Redskins' name change

The Oneida Indian Nation is advocating for the franchise to change its name. Photo: Brianne Carter

(WJLA) - An American Indian group who has been extremely outspoken about the Washington Redskins moniker brought a simple message to Washington Monday - it's time to change the team's name.

Members of New York's Oneida Indian Nation tribe held a public meeting on Monday in the District on the topic of changing the team's name, which they view to be racist.

The group held their meeting at the same Northwest Washington hotel where National Football League owners will hold their annual fall meetings, which are slated to begin Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports officials with the NFL will meet with representatives of the Onieda Nation on Nov. 22.

During Monday's meeting, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell specifically to step up and address what she called the team's "racially disparaging" name.

"The increasing controversy and activism surrounding the name of our hometown football team are issues in search of a leader," Norton said in a statement."

Norton was one of 10 members of Congress to sign a letter to Goodell in May asking him to change the team's moniker.

A group of Wisconsin-based Oneida Indians also protested the team's nickname when Washington played the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field earlier this season. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly and emphatically declared that he'll never change the franchise's name.

In an interview with 106.7 The Fan last month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed to back off - albeit slightly - his earlier comments fully defending the team's name, telling hosts Lavar Arrington and Chad Dukes that if even just one person is offended by Washington's team name, the league has to listen.

Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy over the weekend, telling the Associated Press that if he owned the team, he would think about changing the name based on the fact that it offends a "sizable group of people."

Yet the residents of D.C. still remain at odds.

"At first I was on the bandwagon of, 'Don't change the name,'" said Virginia resident Tommy Tindall. "The more I think about it, if it's somewhat offensive, maybe it's time to think about it."

"I frankly don't understand why the change," countered D.C. resident Kim Barnes. "Maybe some of the new generations are finding it offensive. However, by me living here, being a native Washingtonian, I definitely don't find it offensive."