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Redskins Controversy

Native American leaders say the name of the Washington Redskins is racist, and they're calling on the NFL to change it.

Leaders from 26 different tribes are meeting in Cherokee this week. The head of the Oneida Nation in New York says it's time for Washington to change the name of its mascot.

"I think most Americans really once they know the origin of the name and its offensive nature really would not want their children to use it or to use it against someone else," said Ray Halbritter.

Cherokee Chief Michell Hicks welcomed tribal leaders to the United South and Eastern Tribes meeting. He says there is some negativity associated with the word "Redskins."

"If it leads to our people and all of society that they're seen in a negative manner then it's got to be addressed got to be looked at," said Chief Michell Hicks.   

Hicks also says for him, respect is the key factor and he's still studying the issue.

President Obama has weighed in on the debate, saying if he owned the team he would "think about changing" the name.

Redskins Owner Dan Synder says he'll never do that.

"He (Synder) pays millions and millions and millions of dollars so it's his choice the way I look at it...but yeah it probably should be changed,
 said Jackson County resident Andy Haggerty.

"It has been around a long time.  I think it should stay that way," said Jerry Sealy, who was visiting from Florida.

Halbritter says the name change is inevitable.

"In a nation that presents itself and wants to have the ideal of mutual respect and inclusion it certainly doesn't work well," said Habritter. 

A number of tribal leaders, including Halbrirtter, will meet with the NFL on Wednesday in New York.

By Rex Hodge

Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS



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