The ongoing debate regarding the Redskins name has been turned up a notch.
In a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell that Oneida Indian Nation released to the media after its Wednesday meeting with the NFL, Nation Representative Ray Halbritter asked Goodell to “refer Washington team owner Dan Snyder to the league Executive Committee for possible sanctions” in connection with the ongoing use of the Redskins name.
Halbritter explained that the NFL’s bylaws authorize Goodell to take action “against any owner who is ‘guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.’” Halbritter also points out that Goodell has enforced that rule for situations “far less egregious than the use of a racial epithet as a team’s name.”
“The actions you and the NFL Executive Committee can take against an offending franchise include ‘cancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the league’ and ‘requir[ing] the sale of any stock or interest in a member club,’” Halbritter wrote.
Halbritter made reference to the request during a press conference that followed the meeting, suggesting that the request actually was made during the meeting. Per a source with knowledge of the meeting, however, the topic wasn’t raised during the meeting itself. The letter to Goodell was not read by NFL representatives until the meeting ended.
While this implies the NFL would have provided a response to the request during the meeting, chances are the league would have told Halbritter and the other representatives that the request would be reviewed with Goodell for an appropriate reply.
Halbritter letter also invited Goodell to schedule a meeting with league owners for Super Bowl week in New York, and that Goodell and Snyder personally visit the Oneida Indian Nation homelands.
The league has not yet responded to any of these requests. Individually and collectively, they possibly will form the basis of additional issues on which the league and the Oneida Indian Nation will agree to continue to disagree.