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Anti-Redskins commercial set to play during NBA finals

"I think the Change the Mascot campaign will shed some well-deserved light on the trauma and the disadvantaged people on reservations and throughout the country that are Native American that really haven't had this opportunity to talk about the pain and the anguish that this kind of racism puts us through."
By Aileen Graef   |   June 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- The millions watching Game 3 of the NBA finals Tuesday night between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are going to see a controversial commercial during halftime.

The California-based Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has paid for a 60-second slot to run a shortened version of the National Congress of American Indians' "Proud to Be" ad. It features a narration of the names of different Native American tribes across the country, emphasizing that "Redskins" is a term they do not accept.

"The R-word is as derogatory a slur as the N-word. When this name first came to be, it was a vehicle for people to bring the victims of violence into an office so they could collect a bounty," said Marshall McKay, the chairman of Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. "I think the Change the Mascot campaign will shed some well-deserved light on the trauma and the disadvantaged people on reservations and throughout the country that are Native American that really haven't had this opportunity to talk about the pain and the anguish that this kind of racism puts us through."

The commercial is set to run in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Several U.S. lawmakers have written to Redskins owner Dan Snyder and the NFL to change the team's name. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., joined his colleagues saying, "For far too long the NFL. has been sitting on its hands doing nothing while an entire population of Americans has been denigrated."

The Redskins responded to Reid, asking their fans to show their #RedskinsPride, which received some negative backlash on Twitter.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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