Although Native American groups have been fighting constantly for many, many years to get the Washington Redskins to change their name, the debate is only occasionally brought to the forefront of national attention.
Thanks to 50 U.S. Senators calling for the NFL to change the name a few weeks ago, the fight is once again front and center. And tonight it will get plenty more attention, as an anti-Redskins commercial will air tonight during the NBA Finals.
The Washington Post reports that the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a tribe based in California, has paid for a 60-second anti-Redskins commercial to run during halftime of tonight’s NBA Finals game. The ad will run in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, and the tribe said it made a “significant investment” to purchase the air time.
The commercial begins with a long montage of names and labels that Native Americans call themselves, like “proud” and “forgotten,” “Navajo” and “Blackfoot,” “patriot” and “soldier,” “Jim Thorpe” and “Billy Mills.” It ends with the narrator saying, “Native Americans call themselves many things. The one thing they don’t” and then an image of a Redskins helmet.
Hopefully this message will finally change the hearts and minds of the ignorant and bigoted who still claim the name is used respectfully. They are saying in the ad that they do not call themselves redskins. When a group of people is saying we don’t like to call ourselves this name because we find it offensive, what else do you need to finally realize that the Redskins nickname needs to go?
Watch it below: