'Change the Mascot' Campaign Turns Up the Heat; Goodell Is 'Listening'
The "Change the Mascot" campaign launched by the Oneida Indian Nation is running a new radio advertisement in cities where the Washington Redskins will be playing football games this season. In the ad, Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter addresses NFL fans. "When Washington’s team visits your city this week, there is something you should know," he says. "The word 'redskins' is deeply hurtful to Native Americans. It is what our people were called as our lands were taken."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is mentioned by name in the ad. He had previously offered the widely-held notion that "Redskins" is, as used by the Washington team, a positive term, denoting "strength, courage, pride and respect." But recently, Goodell seems to be reconsidering his view. "We have to listen," he said on a recent sports radio show. "If one person’s offended, we have to listen." But he added that "ultimately it is [Washington team owner Dan Snyder's] decision."
Halbritter commends Goodell on advancing the ball. "We are encouraged to see that Mr. Goodell is joining us and so many others in calling for a serious discussion about ending the Washington team's use of a racial slur," he said. "Mr. Goodell is absolutely right - it is time for the Washington team's owners to start listening."