Washington NFL Team Faces New Radio Spot Featuring High School Student Calling for Franchise to Follow California’s Lead and End Use of R-Word

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A new radio ad from the Change the Mascot campaign urges the Washington NFL team to end its use of the R-word, referencing the passage of landmark legislation banning the offensive mascot in California’s public schools. Running this week in Washington and Charlotte in the lead-up to the team’s game against the Carolina Panthers, the ad notes that no one should be the target of racial slurs, and asks the public to visit http://www.changethemascot.org to voice their support.

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It’s time for the NFL to do the right thing and change the name of Washington’s football team. It’s wrong and harms an entire generation of youth who deserve to be treated as equals.

The Change the Mascot campaign today launched a new radio ad calling on the Washington NFL team to follow the example set by the state of California and end its use of the dictionary-defined R-word slur as its team name. Airing in Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, NC, ahead of the team’s upcoming game versus the undefeated Carolina Panthers, the ad comes on the heels of a new California law eliminating the epithet as a mascot from all of the state’s public schools. It also follows a recent announcement from adidas that the company will assist any U.S. high school with changing their mascots or logos from “potentially harmful Native American imagery or symbolism.”

The radio spot features Native American student activist Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown and Change the Mascot leader Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, noting that no group deserves to be the target of racial slurs.

The 60-second spot will run Friday on Washington’s WTOP-FM, and Thursday through Sunday on Charlotte’s WBT-AM/FM, the flagship station of the Carolina Panthers, ahead of the teams’ matchup on Sunday, November 22 in Charlotte.

“When your children go to school do you think it’s ok for people to yell racial slurs at them? Neither do I,” Brown says in the ad. “You can call me a lot of things, like student or scholar athlete, but kids like me don’t deserve to be called a racial slur…It’s time for the NFL to do the right thing and change the name of Washington’s football team. It’s wrong and harms an entire generation of youth who deserve to be treated as equals.”

Brown also encourages listeners to visit changethemascot.org to voice their support of the rapidly growing grassroots movement.

“No group deserves to be treated as a target of racial epithets. We deserve to be treated as what we are, Americans,” Halbritter says, ending the ad.

Change the Mascot is a grassroots campaign that works to educate the public about the damaging effects on Native Americans arising from the continued use of the R-word. This civil and human rights movement has helped reshape the debate surrounding the Washington team’s name and brought the issue to the forefront of social consciousness. Since its launch, Change the Mascot has garnered support from a diverse coalition of prominent advocates including elected officials from both parties, Native American tribes, sports icons, leading journalists and news publications, civil and human rights organizations and religious leaders.

Full text of the ad is below. It can also be found on the Change the Mascot website http://www.changethemascot.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ChangetheMascotDahkotaBrownAd.mp3.

Dahkota Brown:
 
“When your children go to school do you think it’s ok for people to yell racial slurs at them? Neither do I.
 
That’s why this year I worked with the California legislature to create the California Racial Mascots Act finally stopping all schools from using a racial slur against Native Americans as their mascot.
 
My name is Dahkota Brown. You can call me a lot of things, like student or scholar athlete, but kids like me don’t deserve to be called a racial slur.

The good news is more and more schools are following California’s lead. It’s time for the NFL to do the right thing and change the name of Washington’s football team.
 
It’s wrong and harms an entire generation of youth who deserve to be treated as equals.
 
Go to changethemascot.org and add your voice.”
 
Ray Halbritter:

“I’m Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Indian Nation.

No group deserves to be treated as a target of racial epithets. We deserve to be treated as what we are, Americans.”
 
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Joel Barkin
@ChangeDCMascot
since: 09/2013
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