Oneida release ad about Redskins mascot: ‘Take it away and it’s still Washington football’

Posted at 11:31 AM, Jan 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-23 11:52:45-05

The campaign to change the Washington Redskins team name continues.  The “Change the Mascot” hopes to end the practice of using “r*dskins” as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C. They consider it to be a racial epithet.

The new ad, a joint effort between The National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation has the tagline ‘Take it away and it’s still Washington football.” The ad was funded using Kickstarter and was released ahead of the Superbowl, marking the second year that the group has done so.

All digital representation of the mascot has been removed from game footage in the ad, with the intention to show that a name change won’t change the experience of fans. The group believes that fans are being forced into supporting the “R-word” which they said is “a dictionary defined racial slur.”

“Washington fans and players shouldn’t be put in that position, said National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, in a press release. “No Americans should be treated as targets of racial slurs – and no fans or players should be forced to support such slurs as a condition of supporting a sports team. It is time for Dan Snyder to change the mascot.”

The group said that a joint poll sponsored by the Washington City Paper and WAMU radio found that 53 percent of Washington, D.C. area voters now say the name of the Washington professional football team is disparaging. That followed a 2013 poll showing that the vast majority of Washington football fans say a name change will either not weaken their support for the team, or would actually strengthen their support.

An ESPNpoll in Sept. 2014 found  public opinion greatly in favor of keeping the name, with nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of Americans supporting keeping the name. That poll analysis also concluded that the percentage “who think it should be changed has tripled in the past two decades.”

The campaign is funding Facebook promotion of the ad, hoping to generate social media buzz, reported the Washington Post.