Tribe to Air Ads Opposing Redskins Name This Season

by Andrew Johnson

The Oneida Indian Nation will launch a radio-ad campaign costing “multiple thousands” urging the Washington Redskins to drop their team name. The New York-based tribe’s first ad will air on Washington radio stations this weekend before the Redskins’ season-opener on Monday night and will last throughout the season, as well as in cities where the team has away games.

In the ads, the Oneidas ask NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to “stand up to bigotry” and the “racial slur” of Redskins. “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,” a representative for Oneida Nation said.

The Oneidas have been one of the leading American-Indian voices opposing the name “Redskins.” In one case, the tribe gave a local New York high school $10,000 to purchase new jerseys when it changed its name from “Redskins” to “Hawkeyes.” The Oneida Nation runs the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y.

In response to the tribe’s announcement of the ads, a spokesman for the NFL wrote that the name “from its origin was always intended to be positive” and has been used in “a highly respectful manner.”