The Oneida Nation isn’t going to let the National Football League off the hook when it comes to the name of the Washington Redskins. After holding a public conference challenging the name at the same site as NFL owners meetings this week and sponsoring television ads in New York in September, the organization behind the “Change The Mascot” campaign will now air radio advertisements against the name during Sunday’s game between Washington and the Dallas Cowboys.
The minute-long ad cites the bipartisan opposition to the name in Washington and cites President Obama, who said last week that he would “think about changing it” were he the team’s owner, and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), who called the name “simply inappropriate” and “offensive” and is among a group a legislators trying to change the name. Ray Halbritter, a representative of the Oneida Nation in New York, then weighs in, saying that despite America’s political divisions, “we should all be able to agree that racial slurs are unacceptable, and they shouldn’t be used to market this country’s capital city. As Native people who heard this painful slur when we were taken at gunpoint off our lands, we aren’t asking for anything more than basic respect. We don’t deserve to be treated to racial slurs. We deserve to be treated simply as what we are: Americans.”
Hear full audio of the ad here.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder mailed a letter to fans Wednesday defending the name’s history and citing public polling to defend the name that has existed for 81 years. But now the Oneida Nation is hitting back in a gut-punching fashion: according to a release, the ad will air on Dallas’ KRLD-FM, the flagship station of the Cowboys, putting it right in faces of fans of Washington’s most hated rival. Cowboys fans may not have a problem with the name, but given their hatred of all things Washington, they might be a persuadable crowd if only because it gives them another chance to rankle Snyder and Washington’s fans.