An American-Indian school in South Dakota is pushing back against a claim that it helped design the Washington Redskins’ team logo, the latest salvo in the newly-pitched battle over a football team name that some consider offensive.
The Red Cloud Indian school called out Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who has staunchly defended the team’s name, for making the claim in a letter to season ticket holders.
“As an organization, Red Cloud Indian School has never — and will never — endorse the use of the name ‘Redskins,’” read the letter, which was sent to the Washington Post.
In his letter to season ticket holders last week, Snyder said former Redskins coach George Allen consulted with the Red Cloud Athletic Fund on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota over the design of the team’s emblem. Later, Snyder wrote, Red Cloud honored the team with a plaque that still hangs on the wall at the team’s offices.
Leaders at the Red Cloud Indian School dispute that.
“Like many Native American organizations across the country, members of our staff and extended community find the name offensive,” the school wrote. “We call on Dan Snyder and managers to engage in further discussion with Native groups across the country and, ultimately, to move toward changing the name, once and for all.”
The Oneida Indian Nation, which is leading the most recent charge for the team to change its name, said Sunday that said this incident joins a growing list of Snyder’s “examples of trying to rewrite the team’s history.”
“Mr. Snyder must set the record straight and immediately send a new letter to season tickets holders highlighting these misrepresentations and omissions,” Joel Barkin, a spokesman for the Oneida Nation, said in a statement. “Mr. Snyder should stop trying to rewrite history and instead rewrite his misleading and inaccurate letter and stop pretending that the targets of the R-word slur support his agenda.”
Representatives from the National Football League and the Oneida Indian Nation are scheduled to meet in late November.