SBD/March 12, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Goodell, Redskins Top Execs Reportedly Held Secret Meeting About Team Name

Goodell's group that met with opponents reportedly had a defensive stance
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Redskins officials including Exec VP & GM Bruce Allen last year "met in secret with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Native American leaders" who support changing the team's name, according to sources cited by Travis Waldron of THINKPROGRESS.org. Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder "has not met, to public knowledge, with opponents of the name since he purchased the team" in '99. Cantwell, then Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chair, "organized the December meeting." Sources said that Allen's brother and former Virginia Senator George Allen was present at the meeting, which "also included leaders from several top Native American groups." Sources added that the league and team "approached the meeting in a defensive stance that left the opponents who were present with the sense that the NFL and the Redskins hadn’t taken their concerns to heart." Waldron wrote the meeting "could be another sign of a shift in strategy for the team and NFL when it comes to defending the name," as both "have acted publicly as if the escalation of the controversy in 2013 has done little to faze them." Sources said that the "defensive posture was evident from the Redskins and NFL's decision to unexpectedly bring two Native Americans with them to defend the name" (THINKPROGRESS.org, 3/11).
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