Oneida Indian Nation Launches Philadelphia Radio Ad on Sports Icons’ Growing Opposition to Washington NFL Team’s Name

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The Oneida Indian Nation today released the latest radio ad in its growing Change the Mascot campaign to end the Washington NFL team’s use of the R-word slur. Scheduled to air on Pennsylvania’s WIP-FM in the lead-up to Washington’s Sunday game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the ad thanks the sports icons who have taken a stand against the team’s name and comes on the heels of a White House meeting earlier this week in which Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter thanked President Obama for speaking out on the issue.*

It’s heartening to see both world leaders and sports icons taking a stand against the Washington football team’s use of a degrading racial epithet.

Washington’s NFL team will be faced with a new round of “Change the Mascot” ads when it heads to Pennsylvania to face the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday. The radio spot, airing on Philadelphia’s WIP-FM highlights several historical leaders in the fight for equality in American athletics and thanks the sports icons who have recently spoken out against the Washington team’s use of the R-word.

Entitled “Legends” the radio spot was released today by the Oneida Indian Nation as part of its ongoing Change the Mascot campaign, which will continue to air similar ads throughout the NFL season in Washington and all cities where the team plays road games.

Earlier this week at a White House meeting between President Obama and Native American leaders, Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter personally thanked the president for voicing his concern that the NFL team’s nickname was offensive.*

“It’s heartening to see both world leaders and sports icons taking a stand against the Washington football team’s use of a degrading racial epithet,” said Halbritter. “From the struggles of Jackie Robinson to Billie Jean King, sports have often paved the way to equality in America. We encourage the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Washington team owner Dan Snyder to embrace the opportunity to make the change and be remembered for standing on the right side of history.”

Full text of “Legends” ad:

NARRATOR: Whether Jesse Owens, John Carlos, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe or Billie Jean King, sports has always led the fight for equality in America. That tradition is now being carried on in the fight to stop Washington's pro football team from using a racial slur against Native Americans. From legendary coach Marv Levy to former Raiders president Amy Trask to Washington's Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk to broadcasting legend Bob Costas, leading voices from the sports world are stepping up and saying it is time to end this ugly chapter in NFL history. Even NBA Commissioner David Stern has spoken out against the R-word, saying no professional league should be in the business of promoting such an offensive slur.

RAY HALBRITTER: I'm Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Indian Nation. As a proud sponsor of the NFL, we want to thank these sports icons for speaking out against the NFL's continued use of a racial slur. In the spirit of mutual respect, it is time for the Washington NFL team to change its name. No group deserves to be treated as a target of racial epithets. We deserve to be treated as what we are: Americans.

*Tribal leaders thank Obama for voicing concern over Washington Redskins name, 11/12/13,

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Joel Barkin
Oneida Indian Nation
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