The leader of a Nevada tribe turned down a request Thursday to attend a media event with Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder on Monday.
Chairman Joseph Holley of the Battle Mountain Band of Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians said that he was called by a company in Corona, Calif. that said it was acting on behalf of the Redskins. The team wanted him to come to the District of Columbia by Monday.
Holley told the National Congress of American Indians that he declined, USA Today reports.
“They did not tell me what the meeting was about, what I would be doing or who else was invited and wanted my answer in just a few hours. My answer was no,” Holley explained in a statement released by the NCAI. “I’ve got responsibilities to my community and members here at home and can’t be running off to D.C. at a moment’s notice to meet with a football team to do who knows what.”
“If the Washington team wants to talk to tribal leaders, they should do so openly and respectfully, not under cover,” Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the NCAI, said in the statement. “Tribal leaders are busy running sovereign tribal governments. … It is yet another insult for the team to suggest that these leaders can simply drop everything to fly to Washington to defend the NFL’s use of a dictionary-defined racial slur that denigrates Native Americans.”
Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie said that there is no media event planned for Monday. There is one planned for Wednesday, and Wyllie would not say if it was going to involve tribal leaders.