An American Indian tribe in upstate New York said Thursday it will launch a radio ad campaign pressing for the Washington Redskins to shed a name often criticized as offensive.
The Oneida Indian Nation said the first ad will run on radio stations in Washington before the team hosts the Philadelphia Eagles in its season opener Monday night. In the ad, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should “stand up to bigotry” by denouncing “the racial slur” in the team’s name.
“We do not deserve to be called redskins,” the Oneida leader says in the ad. “We deserve to be treated as what we are – Americans.”
The ads launch as the Washington Redskins this year face a fresh barrage of criticism over their nickname, with local leaders and pundits calling for a name change. In May, 10 members of Congress sent letters to Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Goodell urging the team to change the name.
Snyder has vowed to never change the name.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy, in an email to The Associated Press, said they “respect that reasonable people may have differing views.”
“The name from its origin has always intended to be positive and has always been used by the team in a highly respectful manner,” McCarthy wrote.
There was no immediate response from the Redskins.
The Oneida tribe, which runs a casino and resort in central New York, this year gave $10,000 toward new jerseys to an area high school that changed its nickname from the Redskins to the Hawkeyes.
Halbritter said that fans also are being urged to lobby the NFL in support of the name change at www.changethemascot.org, a website that debuted Thursday.
White makes vow to play in opener, extend streak
Roddy White isn’t promising he’ll be 100 percent for the Falcons’ opener at the Saints on Sunday. However, White is guaranteeing he’ll be on the field.
The receiver’s streak of 128 consecutive games played – every regular-season game for eight seasons – appeared to be at risk when White sprained his left ankle in Atlanta’s second preseason game at Baltimore. He was held out of the Falcons’ last two preseason games and finally returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday.
Around the league
Safety Ed Reed could play when the Texans open the season at San Diego on Monday night after returning to practice this week as he recovers from an April hip surgery to repair a partially torn labrum. Reed was taken off the physically unable to perform list on Saturday. … Panthers coach Ron Rivera says quarterback Cam Newton has been selected by his teammates as co-captain for the first time in his NFL career.