Redskins Commercial During NBA Finals Pressures for Name Change

Thursday, 12 Jun 2014 11:22 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Native American organizations are hoping a 60-second commercial that aired during the NBA Finals will keep the pressure on the Washington Redskins and the NFL to discuss changing the name of the popular football franchise.

The commercial, which aired during Game 3 of the series between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, titled "To Be Proud," ran in several major television markets, reported the Washington Post. A press release from said the commercial ran at halftime of Game 2 in Miami and then in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

The Post said the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, near San Francisco, paid for the ad. The tribe said the ad was a "significant investment" but was necessary to further discussion on the name.

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"It's just a time to get people thinking about putting an end to outward hatred and using sports as a tool to focus on racism," Marshall McKay, chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun tribal council, said in a video explaining the tribe's involvement in the name controversy. "We are affected by racism, the tribe is. . . . We want to draw attention to the pain."

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly dismissed the idea of changing the team's name.

"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder told USA Today last year. "As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season."

In May, the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians said in a statement that they supported the effort of 50 U.S. senators who sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the Redskins name.

"The R-word is a dictionary defined racial slur, which likely explains why avowed segregationist George Preston Marshall decided to use the term as the team's name," said Oneida Nation's Ray Halbritter in the statement. "Continuing an infamous segregationist's legacy by promoting such a slur is not an honor, as Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell claim. It is a malicious insult."

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