After a whirlwind 2010 in which the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team, ranked fourth in the world, found themselves thrust into the spotlight in the midst of a multinational story involving the British Consulate and the U.S. State Department due to the fact that both entities refused to honor the team’s Haudenosaunee passports. This was a story that was widely reported in over 3,000 news articles, but just to sum up, instead of playing the opening game in the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in England last July 15th, the 23-member Nationals team, their coaches and their family members ended up spending nearly a week in New York waiting for the two nations to honor the team's passports, which they had been using to travel internationally to places like England, Australia, Japan and Canada for decades. It never happened.
Today, the Oneida Nation and the National Lacrosse league held a press conference announcing that they will be honoring the Iroquois Nationals during the NLL All-Star game, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on February 27th at the Turning Stone Resort Casino and Events Center. At half time of the game, the Nationals will be honored "for their courage, integrity and character for doing the right thing to protect Indian sovereignty," the Oneida nation said. "Even though the [Iroquois Nationals] national sports team of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy was denied competition, they won however without ever playing by demonstrating to the world the continuing relevance of indigenous sovereignty in the 21st century."
The All-Star game will include some of the best lacrosse players in the world, and is a great setting for the Nationals to be received. The NLL's commissioner, George Daniel, announced that this season, the silver anniversary of the league, is going to be very special due to a new partnership with the International Management Group, a heavyweight in the sports media business, and a new agreement with VERSUS to air nine games (out of the full 16) of this 25th season, starting with the All-Star game and carrying on to the NLL Championship Game.
This is all good news for the fast growing sport in the United States, and one of the fastest sports on two feet in the world.
Tickets will be available at the Turning Stone Box office, or by calling 361-SHOW or toll-free at 1-877-833-SHOW. The Box Office is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased at any Ticketmaster location or online at ticketmaster.com