New Ad: Members of Congress, The Washington Post and Former Oakland Raiders CEO Object to Washington Football Team’s Use of a Disparaging Slur

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A radio advertisement calling for Washington’s NFL team to change its name is beginning to air in California on the flagship radio station of the Oakland Raiders. The ad is the third in a series from the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, whose grassroots Change the Mascot Campaign has placed the issue of Washington’s derogatory football team mascot at the center of a national debate.

We are encouraged by how many leaders are standing up, speaking out and joining the grassroots effort to get the Washington team to do the right thing and change its name.

As part of its season-long Change the Mascot campaign calling to replace the name of Washington's NFL team, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York today released its third radio advertisement. Entitled “Inspire,” the radio spot documents how leading voices in Washington, D.C. including Members of Congress*, Washington’s City Council** and The Washington Post*** are calling for the team to change its name. It then reviews recent comments by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell**** and Amy Trask, the former longtime CEO of the Oakland Raiders. Trask recently appeared on national television to deride the Washington team's management for using a word that she accurately characterized as "a derogatory and disparaging slur."*****

"As proud sponsors of the NFL, we are encouraged by how many leaders are standing up, speaking out and joining the grassroots effort to get the Washington team to do the right thing and change its name," said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. "These leaders understand a very simple truth: marketing a team with a slur against Native peoples is unacceptable, and it is especially unacceptable when that team represents the nation's capital. The fact is we don't deserve to be treated as the target of such an epithet. We deserve to be treated as what we are: Americans."

The new ad will air on KGMZ-FM, the flagship station of the Oakland Raiders, as part of the Oneida Indian Nation's season-long Change the Mascot advertising campaign. Other ads will run each week in every city the Washington NFL team visits. You can find out more about the campaign and listen to the new ad at http://www.changethemascot.org.

Text of the "Inspire" radio spot:

What do the Washington City Council, some Members of Congress, The Washington Post and Native American groups have in common? All have asked to change the name of Washington's football team.

In response, the NFL Commissioner said the team should "listen" to people who are offended. While former Oakland Raiders president Amy Trask had this to say:

"It's wrong to use a disparaging slur when referencing any person or any group of people and the word ‘redskins’ has been widely used throughout our history as a derogatory, disparaging slur. Changing the team name and logo really can inspire people and encourage people to treat everyone respectfully."

I'm Ray Halbritter. Amy Trask is right—it is time for a change. Go to changethemascot.org to tell Washington's team that Native peoples should not be disparaged. We should be treated as what we are: Americans.

Paid for by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York.

*The Fight Over the Washington Redskins Moves to Capitol Hill, 5/29/13, usnews.com/news/articles/2013/05/29/the-fight-over-the-washington-redskins-moves-to-capitol-hill
**D.C. Council may push Washington Redskins into ‘Washington Redtails,’4-30-13, articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-04-30/local/38918826_1_washington-redskins-resolution-name
***Roger Goodell calls an audible on the Washington Redskins name, 9/12/13, washingtonpost.com/opinions/roger-goodell-calls-an-audible-on-the-washington-redskins-name/2013/09/12/aac54362-1be9-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html
****Goodell: NFL should listen to 'Redskins' protests, 9/11/13, pro32.ap.org/article/goodell-nfl-should-listen-redskins-protests
*****Amy Trask: Redskins Can ‘Do Something Very Powerful’ by Changing Name, 9/15/13, washington.cbslocal.com/2013/09/15/amy-trask-redskins-can-do-something-very-powerful-by-changing-name/

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Joel Barkin
Oneida Indian Nation
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