In First Ad Oneidas Ask:
Will the NFL That
Condemned Bigoted Language by an Eagles Player Now End the Use of
a Racial Slur in D.C.'s Team Name?
ONEIDA NATION HOMELANDS (September 5, 2013) The Oneida Indian
Nation today announced a new advertising campaign to urge Washington,
D.C.'s professional football team to change its name. The first
ads will air on sports radio in Washington, D.C. in advance of Washington's
season opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles. As the first
radio spot notes, the National Football League's Commissioner Roger
Goodell was right to recently condemn an Eagles player's usage of
a racial epithet.
During a recent interview with ESPN Radio about Riley Cooper's
offensive remarks, Commissioner Goodell said, "Obviously we stand
for diversity and inclusion. Comments like that, they are obviously
wrong, they are offensive and they are unacceptable. There is no
one that feels stronger about that than the NFL, our teams and our
The ad asks whether Goodell will now do the right thing and
join the campaign to stop the Washington team from continuing to
use a racial slur as its mascot and team name.
"As a proud sponsor of the NFL, we are concerned that the NFL's
continued use of such an offensive term is undermining its position
as a unifying force in America," said Oneida Nation Representative
Ray Halbritter, who is featured in the radio spot. "America is a
society that values mutual respect. Using a slur and making a mascot
out of our indigenous culture has no place in such a society. We
believe that with the help of our fellow professional football fans,
we can get the NFL to realize the error of its ways and make a very
The ads are available at www.changethemascot.org There is also
a request at that site for football fans to contact the NFLin support
of the campaign to change the Washington name. The ad campaign will
run for the entire NFL season, airing in the Washington, D.C. market
for the season opener, and then in the cities where the Washington
team will play road games during those game weeks. The ads will
tell NFL fans why the league must stop using an epithet for any
team, much less the one that represents the nation's capital.
In recent months, the NFL has faced increasing pressure for
it to change the Washington team's name. In April, high school students
in Cooperstown, NY voted to change their "redskins" mascot to another
mascot, prompting a wave of national headlines about the continued
use of the epithet in the NFL. In May, congressional lawmakers formally
asked the league to consider a name change. Then only a few weeks
ago, Washington Hall of Famer Art Monk told a D.C. radio station
that "[If] Native Americans feel like Redskins or the Chiefs or
[another] name is offensive to them, then who are we to say to them
'No, it's not?'"
"More and more Americans are speaking out and saying that it
is unacceptable to use hurtful language to describe whole cultures,"
Halbritter said. "This is particularly true when it is an organization
as influential as a professional sports league. We hope that when
NFL fans across the country hear these radio ads in advance of their
teams' games with the Washington franchise, they will speak out
and tell the NFL to do the right thing. The time has come for a
change - one that lives up to the ideals of mutual respect."
Change the Mascot is a national campaign to end the use of the racial
slur "redskins" as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington,
D.C. Launched by the Oneida Indian Nation, the campaign calls upon
the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and
bring an end the use of the racial epithet.