- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Osage Nation in Oklahoma is boycotting global shipping company FedEx due to its relationship with the Washington Redskins and calling on other tribes around the country to do the same, saying the NFL team’s name is derogatory to people of American Indian descent.

Until the name of the football team is changed to something “less inflammatory and insulting,” employees of the 18,500-member tribe should refrain from using FedEx when an alternative is available, according to the directive issued Tuesday by Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear.

The chief noted that the National Congress of American Indians also has asked FedEx to reevaluate its involvement with the team, which plays at FedEx Field in suburban Washington, D.C. The directive states that the name “is derived from a horrible former practice of removing the skin of Native people for the purpose of collecting bounties.”

Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn declined to comment Wednesday, saying the language in the two-page order spoke for itself. The directive comes as various human rights groups, lawmakers and representatives of some tribes urge the team’s ownership to change the name, calling it derogatory to American Indians.

FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald said Wednesday that the company values its sponsorship of the stadium, noting that the facility hosts a range of sporting and entertainment events. He said the company has closely followed the “dialogue and difference of opinion” concerning the team name, but directed further questions on the issue to the team.

Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie declined comment Wednesday, but said he stood by his recent statements about the franchise believing that most Americans didn’t support changing the team’s name.

The Osage Nation, which is based in Pawhuska, is among several Oklahoma-based tribes that have called on the team to change its name. Those tribes include the state’s five most influential - including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations - that represent more than 500,000 tribal citizens across the U.S.

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