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Oneida 'disappointed' in response from NFL over Redskins name

Keith Allison
via Flickr
The owner of the Washington Redskins professional football team says its name is "a badge of honor."

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.

The Oneida presented the league with a study it commissioned on the affects of using racial slurs and asked the league amend its bylaws to ban teams from using names defined as slurs.

"We were somewhat disappointed, to say it mildly, that they continued to defend the use of the slur and it really does require us to redouble our efforts in dealing with this issue," Halbritter said at a news conference following the meeting.

Halbritter added he would like to work with the league to resolve the issue in a way that provides a legacy, but ends the continued use of the name.

"The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue to facilitate listening and learning, consistent with the commissioner’s comments earlier this year," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an emailed statement.

The Oneida have mounted a "Change the Mascot" campaign that launched radio ads and hosted a summit earlier this month.

Halbritter said he requested a meeting with all the team owners during the week of the Super Bowl in February.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder did not attend the meeting, but has said publicly he will not change the name, calling it "a badge of honor." The team did not respond to requests for comment regarding the meeting.