The Oneida Indian Nation will air Thanksgiving ads on radio stations in Detroit and Baltimore this week to continue its protest against the Washington Redskins team name, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.
In the ad, which can be heard here via ChangeTheMascot.com and in the coming days on Detroit’s WXYT-FM and Baltimore’s WBAL-AM, Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter says the group gives thanks to those who have come out against "this continued use of Washington's racist mascot."
Halbritter, who has been criticized by New York State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who claims that "he is not even technically an Oneida," goes on to say that supporters of the initiative have sent "a powerful message to the NFL that no group deserves to be treated as the target of a hurtful racial slur."
"Thanksgiving is a holiday emphasizing the ideals of inclusion and mutual respect, and is a time when we give thanks. We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who has spoken out about the important moral and civil rights issue of changing the Washington football team’s name. Change the Mascot supporters have sent a powerful message to the NFL that no group deserves to be treated as the target of a hurtful racial slur, and that Native Americans should be treated as what we are: Americans.”
In September, the Oneida Indian Nation spent thousands of dollars on the same campaign, airing the ads on Washington, D.C., radio stations in the days before the Redskins kicked off their regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
This past spring, members of Congress sent letters to NFL Commissioner Goodell and Redskins owner Dan Snyder asking them to change the team's name. Pro Football Hall of Famers Art Monk and Darrell Green, who played for the Redskins, have said the team should consider a name change. Monk said that if members of the tribe feel that the name is offensive, those who are not part of the tribe have no grounds on which to say it is not offensive.
Snyder said that the team will “never” change the name and that Redskins fans understand the tradition. League spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an e-mail to the Associated Press that the league recognizes and respects that reasonable people may have differing views.
In May, the Oneida Nation presented a check for $10,000 to a New York high school as part of an agreement with the school that it would change its name from the Redskins to the Hawkeyes. SI WIRE: Report: Michael Crabtree to play Sunday against Rams