UNITED STATES -- A war of words is brewing between Washington Redskins ownership and the Oneida Indian Nation.
The disagreement stems from the Nation's efforts to get the team to change its mascot.
In a letter to Washington Redskins fans, owner Dan Snyder wrote about the team's history, saying they do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group. Snyder said the inaugural Redskins team had a Native American head coach, as well as four players.
Snyder called the name and emblem "a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect, the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans."
Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter responded, saying in a statement that Snyder "opted to omit from his letter, however, that the original owner who gave the team its current name was an avowed segregationist"
Halbritter went on to invite Snyder to join the NFL delegation in its upcoming meeting at their Homelands. He says he will organize a special meeting of Oneida Nation families, where Mr. Snyder can personally explain to them why he believes they deserve to be called "redskins."