The Oneida Indian Nation of upstate New York is launching a radio ad campaign urging the Washington Redskins to change their name, often criticized as offensive to Native Americans.
“We believe that with the help of our fellow professional football fans, we can get the NFL to realize the error of its ways and make a very simple change,” said Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter in a prepared statement Thursday.
The ad is scheduled to begin airing on the radio in Washington D.C. Sunday, ahead of Monday night's season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The tribe, which runs a resort and casino in central New York, plans to run the ad in Washington for home games, and in states that host Washington for away games.
“We do not deserve to be called redskins,” the Oneida leader says in the ad. “We deserve to be treated as what we are -- Americans.”
Halbritter says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should “stand up to bigotry” and condemn the use of a “racial slur” in the team’s name. But team owner Dan Snyder has vowed the name will never be changed.
Earlier this year, the Oneida Indian Nation gave $10,000 to a local high school that changed its nickname from the Redskins to the Hawkeyes, so they could buy new jerseys.