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Native American leader thanks Barack Obama for speaking out on Redskins name

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

President Barack Obama's comments that he would think about changing the Washington Redskins name if he owned the team were positively received in at least one circle.

The Associated Press reported that in a White House meeting with Obama on Tuesday, Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation thanked the president for speaking out against the Redskins name. Other tribal leaders responded with applause.

The meeting was closed to the media but a "tribal representative familiar with the meeting" told the AP about Halbritter thanking Obama.

In October, Obama said about the Redskins' name, which is considered offensive by some, that "I don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real, legitimate concerns that people have about these things."

"(P)eople get pretty attached to team names, mascots," Obama told the Associated Press in October. "I don't think there are any Redskins fans that mean offense. I've got to say that if I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team – even if it had a storied history – that was offending a sizeable group of people, I'd think about changing it."

Oneida Nation has been one of the most vocal groups in opposing the Redskins name and trying to get the team to change it. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been firm in not wanting to change the name, and the team has often cited a study of 1,000 self-identified Native Americans that said 90 percent of respondents didn't find the name offensive.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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