Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder met Tuesday with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the team’s name, according to two people familiar with the matter.
According to one person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the team publicly confirmed the meeting nor discussed what happened in it, Snyder reiterated to Goodell that he has no plans to change the Redskins’ name.
A second person with knowledge of the meeting said the focus was not on changing the team’s name but declined to elaborate. The meeting was designed, another person familiar with the situation had said Monday, for the league to gather information on the team’s plans for dealing with the issues involved, including assessing and addressing opposition to the name.
Snyder shared sentiments similar to those he conveyed in a letter to the team’s fans sent earlier this month, one of the people familiar with the meeting said. In that letter, Snyder wrote that the team’s name “was, and continues to be, a badge of honor,” and also said: “I’ve listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name. But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too.”
The meeting with Goodell came one day before NFL officials are scheduled to meet Wednesday in New York with representatives of a Native American group that has called the name offensive and is pushing for it to be changed. That meeting with the Oneida Indian Nation originally was scheduled for November but was pushed up at the league’s behest.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the NFL’s representatives at Wednesday’s meeting with the Oneida Nation will be Adolpho Birch, a league senior vice president, and executive vice presidents Jeff Pash and Paul Hicks.
Goodell has said the decision about the team’s name is Snyder’s to make but the league must be sensitive to opposing views and must listen if even a single person is offended by it.
The league declined to comment through a spokesman on Goodell’s meeting with Snyder. The meeting apparently took place in New York, but the people with knowledge of it did not specify that.