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Radio Ads Spotlight NFL Team Name Issue

Oneida Indian Nation keeps up pressure on Washington NFL team to change name

The Oneida Indian Nation is using radio ads, among other things, to keep the pressure on Washington Redskins team owner Daniel Snyder to change the team name.

The ads are part of a campaign funded by the Oneida Indian Nation, which says the “Washington Redskins’” name is racist and derogatory. As part of its “Change the Mascot” campaign, the OIN is buying air time in every city the team plays this football season.

As Washington’s NFL team heads to Dallas for Sunday’s game, radio ads urging the organization to change its name are airing on CBS Radio-owned KRLD(FM) in Dallas/Ft.Worth — the flagship station of the Dallas Cowboys. This particular ad includes clips of President Obama weighing in on the issue, saying if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name.

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says the number of critics speaking out on the issue, including members of Congress from both parties, civil rights leaders, public health organizations and Native American Tribes, is growing. “Collectively they represent millions of people and they all understand why a professional football team should not be promoting a racial slur.”

Meanwhile, team owner Daniel Snyder released a letter to fans this week, defending the team name.

However, the campaign gained momentum this week when leaders met in Washington for a symposium and protest to coincide with an NFL meeting. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has agreed to meet with the OIN to discuss the issue. That meeting had been slated for Nov. 22, though the Washington Post reported this week it may happen sooner.

The lobbying efforts have also reached the FCC, where former Chairman Reed Hundt has been leading an effort to have the commission have an open meeting with broadcasters to discuss whether they should voluntarily stop using the name. Hundt and others suggest that an indecency case could be made against broadcasters who air the offensive name. A few individual broadcasters have said they may stop using the team’s name.