The Washington Times - October 29, 2013, 03:46PM

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Tuesday in advance of their Wednesday meeting with representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

That meeting, which also will be held in New York, is to discuss the Redskins’ nickname, which the Oneida tribe has maintained is offensive.

A Redskins spokesman wrote in a text message he “cannot comment or confirm” the meeting took place when reached Tuesday afternoon. Likewise, a league spokesman wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Times that Goodell “meets or talks with owners almost every day” and that he would not confirm or comment on the reported meeting.

But a person familiar with the talks said that Snyder reinforced his support for the nickname to Goodell, echoing the sentiments he shared in a letter he wrote to season ticket-holders earlier this month. In that letter, Snyder defended the name as representing “a symbol of everything we stand for” with the team, including the noble traits of “strength, courage, pride and respect.”

Goodell, who grew up in Washington, had stayed out of the discussion surrounding the name until addressing it for the first time in recent months. In an appearance on 106.7 The Fan last month, Goodell said that he understands the nickname is part of the team’s history and tradition.

“I think what we have to do, though, is we have to listen,” Goodell said. “If one person is offended, we have to listen. And ultimately, it is Dan’s decision, but it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we’re listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what’s right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition and history that it has for so many years.”

The Oneida Indian Nation, based in central New York, has vehemently protested the team’s use of the nickname. It organized a protest before the Redskins’ road game against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 15 and held a news conference in Washington on Oct. 7, a day before the owners of the league’s 32 franchises were to convene in the city for a meeting.

Ray Halbritter, the Nation Representative, said in response to Snyder’s letter last month that the nickname is a “racial slur” that “has had – and continues to have – very serious cultural, political, and public health consequences for my people and Native Americans everywhere.”

A poll of 1,004 people jointly conducted by The Associated Press and GfK in April showed 79 percent of Americans favor keeping the name.