Oneida Indian Nation to meet with UN over Redskins name


As the Super Bowl prepares to come to New York, the lingering fight against the Redskins’ nickname will get there a few days early.

Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter will meet Friday with the United Nations’ Human Rights Office regarding the issue.

“I am both humbled and heartened by the opportunity to have a dialogue with the UN regarding the important moral, human, and civil rights issues raised by the Washington NFL team’s continued use of the R-word racial slur,” Halbritter said in a news release. “It is extremely encouraging to see people across the country, as well as national and international leaders, recognizing the harmful impacts of using this term that denigrates Native peoples.”

The UN has no actual power to do anything, but the expansion of the debate could place more cumulative pressure on the team and the league to take action. It also could increase awareness of the issue, which could in turn strengthen the opposition to the name.

“This issue is not going away until the offensive name is retired,” said Halbritter. “It’s time for the NFL and Washington’s team to stop profiting from the continued use of a dictionary-defined racial slur and to place themselves on the right side of history by changing this offensive name.”

If the issue generates interest and opposition on an international basis, the NFL could at some point become concerned that it will impair the efforts to grow the sport globally. If/when the nickname begins to take a dent out of the league’s revenue stream (whether domestic or abroad) the league will find a way to nudge the team toward changing it.

72 responses to “Oneida Indian Nation to meet with UN over Redskins name

  1. Yeah cause this is more important than Iran nuclear weapons, North Korea, Fukushima nuclear fallout, Syria murdering its people, African Aids/warlord crisis….

    Would Snyder just write these guys a check already. Sheesh.

  2. Nice inflammatory headline. The Oneida Indians aren’t meeting with the UN, Ray Halbritter is, and his agenda has been well documented. He doesn’t represent anyone except himself, any more than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton represent African Americans.

  3. That’s ok, the UN is still a credible political power, and it’s nice to see that they are getting some support from somewhere, even if they can’t get it from anybody at home. Sometimes it’s worth checking out what an outsider thinks and sometimes they can find a way to help you. It will be 2 groups of people who care about something very much that want to work together to try and find a solution. That is time well invested.

  4. If YOU don’t like the nickname of the Washington team, don’t use it. In the future when you talk about the team don’t mention the nickname. If the networks started telling all their heads not to use the team nickname it would get more notice then complaints about it.

  5. I continue to wonder which PC group is paying this guy to keep popping up and spewing his drivel. And I say “good” if this keeps the NFL out of the International spotlight, it’s known as AMERICAN football for a reason.

  6. UN shouldn’t be involved with this, however Snyder needs to realize that he’s creating a distraction for his team.

    Not to mention, it is a racial slur. People need to respect the people who were here before our ansestors came here (North America). Regardless of how we benefit them in multiple social, civil, and financial ways, it’s offensive to them to use the R word and it’s not up to us white people to say whether or not they should be offended by it.

  7. Wow. Can they cite a single instance where redskins was used as a racial slur? Nope. It just sounds like it could be so therefore it is to the pc champions.

  8. 25% of Native youth have attempted suicide at least once, I think the U.N. is concerned about more than a horrible racial slur.
    Natives are also sovereign, the U.N. recognizes it, if the U.S. is turning their backs on issues then maybe it is time for the world to get involved.

  9. It’s hard to see his point unless your forefathers were systematically wiped off the face of the earth I suppose. Can’t just concede a little and show a bit of compassion? It offends people and should be enough. No matter how petty it seems to those who are not offended. This is the USA 2014 not 1814 we should know better.

  10. I personally dont find the name racist, because it is clearly not intended to be racist. I will buy that it falls into the category of insensitive (though unintended), but I feel pretty confident that 90 years ago, the owner didnt say, “hey, lets name the team ‘Redskins’ because I hate those….”, you get the idea. No one is going to name their team after something or someone they hate. So thinking the name is hateful is borderline insane.

    If people think they should change the name, then change it. I wont lose any sleep over the outcome of this fight. But what bothers me is these clowns have now paved the way to the UN for everything. So now every gay and lesbian group is going to meet with the UN about marriage rights (I am not one of those anti gay people, let them get married). I just dont think the UN needs to be the ones hearing these arguments.

    I dont want to start giving our power away to the UN. We have courts that can handle this, take it up with them and then respect their decision even if you disagree.

  11. At some point we are going to have to go back and change the name of Baseball’s Negro Leagues too. And add BET to that list as well. This topic never ends it just changes its target.

  12. Ray halbritter has never . Produced a petition from the Oneida Indian nation. Its always just him. And people in his have tribe have sued him. They do not believe he represents them and if he does where is his petition and where are they?

    They are nowhere to be found its ONLY RAY HALBRITTER. I guarantee he is on an nfl owners payroll

  13. The guy in the picture looks like a greedy snake oil salesman. And lol at the UN getting involved. They are even more useless and corrupt than our own government. And boy is that saying something .

  14. It’s almost as if the people most offended by the term, REDSKIN, are anything but Native Americans. Capitalism/ Free Market. Even in today’s society, Racism is far from over. I would argue the main proponents of racism are the ones who benefit the most from it. They are the ones that proliferate the notion & racial agenda – that we should be offended by the Washington Redskins’ name?
    Especially in the context of a large group of diverse individuals, men and women, work together, to create a positive, proud and honorable image of their collective creative effort. AND lawyers across the world rejoice, because time equals money and your tax dollars ain’t just paying for a court room staff to sit around and do nothing. WE need law suits and racism, crime, drugs, sex, blood and difference to divide us, distract us and tax us.

  15. And the day the U.N. has the right to change American businesses is the day we give up our sovereignty as a people. Another post that will probably be erased because pft disagrees.

  16. Sick and tired of being sick and tired over the perceived insults of pretty much everybody.

    All I see are nit picking do nothings looking to bring attention to themselves rather than tackle a real problem.

    Ask this Ray Halbritter dude what he is doing about the rampant poverty and alcoholism facing Native Americans. I’ll bet he ain’t doin’ nuttin’ about that……

  17. Really, the UN!
    Don’t they have more pressing issues to worry about, like a Iran, North Korea or Syria with human rights issues?

    Grasping at straws for attention to a mute point.

  18. You know what Halbritter should do? Get together a group of like-minded investors to come up with enough money to buy the team from Dan Snyder and then rename it. But since he can’t do that, he’ll do what the PC/liberal crowd always do when they can’t get their way – litigate. Snyder is a terribly excuse for an owner and he’s ruined a once proud franchise, but I’m 100% behind him in this. He owns the team, so it’s his call whether to change the name or not. And since the majority of his fans support him, it’s a moot point what Halbritter, the UN, or anyone else thinks.

  19. It is inevitable that they will, at some point, change their name. The pressure will keep building, like it or not.
    That being said, they should probably jump on a name ASAP that still fits like Washington Warriors or something that would still fit colors, logos etc.

  20. get used to the u.n. sticking there nose in Americas business freedom is being lost everywhere in this country.

  21. As it is clear the american people view this as a non issue, certainly you don’t truely beleive that people in england, france and germany are going to care.

  22. Key word here is ‘profiting from the use’. Appears to me somebody is looking toward some “income equality”. It’s time they got to the bottom line of this discussion.

  23. Did he really say “the R word”? Really? I have never heard or experienced the word “Redskins” in any other context than football…so refusing to say it is weird. It’s never been a hate speech type of word.

    If you don’t like it fine, I respect them for standing up and fighting, but don’t act childish and start saying things like “The R Word”.

  24. It doesn’t matter what you think of the name, talking to the UN is about the most pointless and comical maneuver imaginable. A nice letter to Dan Snyder would be a million times more likely to get the result they want.

  25. I think we can make a point to argue every teams name from certain individuals perspectives.

    I personally find the “Cowboys” name offensive…can we get this changed to “Cowpeople”? I mean, why is it gender-specific? Why cant it be “CowIndividuals”? How about “CowSapiens”?

    And whats up with the Buffalo Bills name? Why cant it be Buffalo Richards, or Buffalo Tonys, why does Bill get the special recognition? Time to make a change in Buffalo,,,,same goes for the Browns, time for the Smiths or the Taylors to get some primetime..Cleveland Taylors, just rolls off the tongue..

    New Orleans Saints…really? I mean cmon, these guys constantly get arrested for getting into trouble, smoking weed, etc, nothing like the real Catholic priests and Saints in the religious community…wait, ok not the best comparision there..

    And what about the Dolphins? That’s just horrible man, I mean theres nothing wrong with the name itself, but I like dolphins, and this franchise is giving these mammals a bad name..

  26. The UN never had a dog in this fight until the NFL decided to expand to London… That is the $$$ issue…

  27. So in the end it comes to this; a constant whirlwind of absurdities.

    Things of import are routinely ignored, while nonsense gets top billing.

  28. Why we support and have the u.n. In our country is beyond me. It meddles in our affairs in collusion with the libs ,paints us a villain of the world, waste money, negotiate with real human rights violators like Iran etc. I am not surprised that the u.n. Human right office is meeting this publicity hound.–why is there not enough news about the other native Americans not offended by the name? The owner of the team should stick to his gun and not be bullied by the PC crowd. Like one said recently… This is the United States of America not the united I have the right not to be offended America.

  29. 1. You often cite Oneida Nation as the one Native American tribe who is seemingly united against the team name. In all honesty, is this the only tribe that objects and if so, why are the others refusing to take such a stand?

    2. Staying with the Oneida, the protest against the Redskins drew somewhere between nine and thirteen participants (depending on media reports) to the early season game at Lambeau field against the Packers. Some reports have intimated that Ray Halbritter is not the preferred representative of the Oneida people and that he is an Ivy League educated entrepreneur who has taken on this task due to his wealth. Too, many in the Oneida Nation consider him to be a “fake chief”. Could it be that he is simply looking for financial gain at the expense of his tribe and is PFT willing to do a true and thorough investigation to see if this is the case?

    3. Which is better and more important – dropping the team name because some find it offensive or focusing/dealing with issues in the Native American tribes such as extreme poverty, lack of educational resources, severe drug abuse, alcoholism, infant mortality, suicide rates, teenage pregnancy, housing shortages, discord within tribes (i.e., the enormous gap between wealthy leaders and members), and lack of health/mental health facilities?

    4. Considering the aforementioned question, if team names that feature Native Americans are discarded, do we run the risk of forgetting and ignoring their many issues altogether?

    5. The common argument for discarding the name is that it is racist. However, there are reservations where the local high school team uses the name freely and openly. The common argument is that this is their right, but non-Native teams should not be afforded that opportunity. If this is truly the case, then is a school or university in a predominantly African American community allowed to use the “n-word” as their nickname? If not, then should the same type of requirement be extended to Native American schools?

  30. stevent92 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:34 AM

    “If you like your team’s nickname, you can keep it.”


    Heh, I see what you did there. Well played.

  31. This is how you know NFL > MLB.

    In the NFL everyone is spun up over the name of a mediocre franchise. Meanwhile over in MLB the darling club of that league uses an ethnic slur for a nick name and no one cares one bit.

  32. brbuck12 says:

    this just starts a bad trend…whats next cowboys, vikings packers, pretty soon it will be team 1 team 2 and so on

    Using terms that have never been used as racial slurs to justify continuing to use a racial slur is not valid.

    Its also valid that the name of the Washington team has not been in use as a slur for a long time. If it had been there would be a lot more objections from the Native American community. This makes it difficult for a lot of people to take any objection to the name seriously.

  33. One little known nation to meet with a bunch of meaningless nations in an effort to even further reduce the number of reminders that still exist about native Americans in this country.

    Hilarious. I have little regard for anything that emerges from this little sequester.

  34. It just wouldn’t be another day in America if someone wasn’t getting offended about something….

  35. I wonder if his Casino takes bets on the games? Meaning they make profit off the NFL and Redskin games as well. The front page of the Casino website prominantley features “The Big Game” all over it for the Super Bowl.

  36. Cry me a river…..the franchise has been around for 80+ years and just recently complaining about the name it since everyone else tries to be PC all the time. Go deal with real issues in the world. If you don’t like it root for some other team and don’t buy their gear!!

  37. Put it to a vote among natives. If enough are okay with it, let it be.

    Personally, I live in an area where there are many Native American residents. I have never once heard anyone call any of them “Redskins” and I am thinking most people never even thought of the word as a racial slur, let alone used it in that way.

    Here is what happened. The Oneida Tribe (which is involved in a lot of discrimination allegations and other lawsuits against the government and etc.) decided they might be able to profit from this. They are going to push until they get paid. they do not want the name changed because there is no money in that. They want a huge check writtten out to the high ranking Tribal members.

    I could see some uproar if they were called the “DC Savages”, but that is not the case.

  38. Last time I checked name calling or using a name not meant to demean anyone was worth a call to the UN,,,there are no treaties regarding football mascot names, but Im sure Obama,, liar in chief, will give it a go, because his numbers are dropping like a dead whale. Oops, hope that last statement wasn’t heard by PETA.

  39. What no one is talking about is how this became an issue again since RG3 became a Redskin. Seemed like no one cared since the Redskins won their last Super Bowl.

  40. Ok, let’s move into the realm of the hypothetical: we go to the UN and we gripe that somebody’s team name makes our panties bunch up. The UN talks it over, and they decide, that yes, the team has a name, and yes, our panties are all in a bunch.


  41. This is absurd! The team name was never intended to be a racist slur. Overly sensitive people take it that way. There are high schools on reservations that use that same nickname. Have they changed their logos/names yet? I love the Redskins, win or lose, and I hope I never see the name changed–and I’m one-eighth Cherokee.

  42. Dude, just give it rest will ya? Your ridiculous tirade is getting old real quick. The name is not going to change. How many languages do you want it explained to you in?

  43. Why do these articles titles always say Oneida Nation? That is misleading. They should read Ray Hallbritter only. His own people don’t even like him and want him out. Ray doesn’t even speak for the Oneida people. He speaks for himself.

  44. Let Ray Hallbritter meet with some of the 90% of Native Americans who told the 2004 Annenberg Public Policy poll that the name didn’t bother them.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.