Change the Mascot Radio Ad Calling for Washington Football Team Name Change to Air in Denver After Being Rejected by D.C. Stations

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A radio ad urging Washington's NFL team to change its name will air on Denver’s KDSP this weekend as the Washington team faces the Denver Broncos. The newest ad from the Oneida Indian Nation’s growing Change the Mascot campaign, which was rejected at the last minute by two stations in D.C., urges Washington’s team owner to be on the right side of history and change his team’s offensive name.

Across the country we have witnessed a surge in support for changing the Washington football team's racist mascot.

A radio ad urging Washington’s NFL team and its owner to change its offensive name will air in Colorado this weekend ahead of the team's game against the Denver Broncos. The radio spot, which was pulled by two Washington stations just hours before it was scheduled to run, will air this Saturday and Sunday on Denver’s KDSP.

The ad, released by the Oneida Indian Nation, points out some of the unfortunate aspects of the Washington NFL team’s history, including the fact the team was given its offensive name by its first owner, an avowed segregationist.*    

"The current team owner has the opportunity to put himself and the franchise on the right side of history by halting the use of this harmful epithet and choosing a legacy of inclusion and mutual respect," said Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter.

"Across the country we have witnessed a surge in support for changing the Washington football team's racist mascot," Habritter added. "This issue is not going away. We will continue to call for Mr. Snyder to do the right thing. We will not be silent mascots."

As part of its grassroots Change the Mascot campaign, the Oneida Indian Nation will continue to air similar advertisements in Washington and all cities where the team plays road games throughout the NFL season.

Text of the "Legacy" ad:

Narrator: For all of its storied history, Washington's NFL team will unfortunately always remain in the history books as the last team to permit integration. That opposition to basic equality was the legacy of former Washington team owner George Preston Marshall, who was one of America's most famous and outspoken segregationists. His racism indelibly harmed Washington D.C.'s image. Not surprisingly, he was the same person who decided to use a racial slur as the team's name. And unfortunately today, the team's new owner, Dan Snyder, is still choosing to use that racial slur. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Ray Halbritter: Hi, I'm Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Indian Nation. As a proud longtime NFL sponsor, our Indian tribe wants the NFL to be on the right side of history in the fight against racism. Washington's team current owner now has a chance to reject the segregationist legacy of his predecessor and make sure his team is no longer one of history's most powerful symbols of bigotry. We know Washington fans do not mean to offend Native Americans, so by changing his team's name Mr. Snyder can create a better historical legacy for himself, for his team and for the NFL - one of tolerance and mutual respect, not of racial epithets. As Native people's we don't want to be treated to such painful epithets. We just want to be treated as what we are: Americans.

*A 'Showdown' That Changed Football's Racial History, NPR, 9/4/11,

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Joel Barkin
Oneida Indian Nation
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