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Campaign asks NFL to push Redskins to change 'offensive' name

Sept. 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Oneida Nation American Indians announced an ad campaign Thursday intended to get the NFL Washington Redskins to change what the nation calls its offensive name.

The "Change the Mascot" campaign charges the NFL's "continued use of such an offensive term is undermining its position as a unifying force in America," the Oneida Nation said in a statement.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently condemned a Philadelphia Eagles player for using a racial epithet, the statement noted. The nation urged Goodell to "join the campaign" to end the Washington's team use of a "racial slur" for its mascot and team name.

"America is a society that values mutual respect," the statement quotes Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter as saying in the radio spot. "Using a slur and making a mascot out of our indigenous culture has no place in such a society."

The ads will begin running on sports radio station in the Washington area before the Redskins' season opener against the Eagles Monday night. The ads will play through the season in cities where the team has away games.

The ads ask fans to contact the NFL about changing the team's name.

Slate, the New Republic and Mother Jones have said they will no longer refer to the team as the Redskins, Forbes reported.

The magazine has said $131 million of the team's estimated total worth, $1.6 billion, is attributable to brand equity.

Philip Corbett, editor in charge of standards at The New York Times, told Forbes his newspaper has discussed whether to stop using the word.

"Of course we do not use offensive racial or ethnic slurs in news stories unless doing so is essential to the reader's understanding of the story," Corbett said in an email to Force. "'Redskin,' when used as a derogatory term for a Native American, would fit into this category.

"But I think the situation is more complicated in the case of a sports name like the Washington Redskins," Corbett wrote. "When we write about the football team, I don't believe readers think that The Times is intending the term as a slur referring to Native Americans."

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