WASHINGTON – The New York tribe that has led the the fight to change the name of Washington’s football team says owner Dan Snyder’s attempt to address their concerns by starting a foundation won’t work.
Ray Halbritter, tribal representative from the Oneida Indian Nation, calls Snyder’s foundation efforts a “play out of the bigotry playbook.”
Halbritter tells WTOP that although giving back to his community could be helpful, use of the name Redskins continues to harm Native Americans today. And no amount of money will change that.
“You can’t buy morality,” Halbritter says. “No matter how much money he spends, it’s not going to change the fact that this name is a racial slur.”
As high schools and colleges across the country continue to drop the nickname, Snyder has to decide if he wants his team to move forward with the rest of society, Halbritter says.
“The name has to change. if you really want to honor and help Indian people, the way to honor them is by language and by changing this name,” he says. “This is an issue that you just can’t buy your way out of.”
The Oneida Nation will continue to push for the team to change its name and eventually it will change, Halbritter says.
During the past year, the tribe has launched a radio against the Redskins, has met with NFL officials and has even taken their complaint to the United Nations.
Snyder has said repeatedly that he won’t change the name. Monday he announced the creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities” for Native Americans. He has provided no financial details.