The pressure to have Washington NFL Team Change Its Racist Name Continues
Take It Away’ spot removes the mascot from game day footage of a significant moment in the team’s history; Highlights that the fan experience remains the same when the offensive mascot changes.
ONEIDA NATION HOMELANDS — The National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation launched a new ad Friday as part of their Change the Mascot campaign. The “Take It Away” spot, produced by creative agency goodness Mfg. and funded through Kickstarter, digitally removes all representation of the mascot from game day footage of a significant moment in the team’s history.
The new spot highlights that changing the Washington NFL team’s mascot will not alter the fan experience or their spirit for the team. “Take It Away” marks the second consecutive year that the campaign has released a new spot in the days leading up to the Big Game.
“Our ‘Take It Away’ spot demonstrates that changing the name would not take anything away from the fan experience. By keeping the mascot, the Washington team’s ownership is forcing fans and players to support a dictionary-defined racial slur,” said National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. “Washington fans and players shouldn’t be put in that position. They should be able to root for a team that honors the most basic notions of civility and respect. 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.”
In October, 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.**
Last year, the NCAI and Oneida Indian Nation released the “Proud to Be” spot in the days leading up to the Big Game. The spot celebrated the proud heritage of Native Americans, and gained nationwide attention.
Change the Mascot is a grassroots campaign that works to educate the public about the damaging effects on Native Americans arising from the continued use of the R-word. This civil and human rights movement has helped reshape the debate surrounding the Washington team’s name and brought the issue to the forefront of social consciousness. Since its launch last season, Change the Mascot has garnered support from a diverse coalition of prominent advocates including elected officials from both parties, Native American tribes, sports icons, leading journalists and news publications, civil and human rights organizations and religious leaders.