DENVER (CBS4) – A national effort to get the Washington Redskins to change their name has come to Colorado as the team visits the Denver Broncos.
Radio listeners might hear a new advertisement from people asking the Redskins to drop the name. The campaign was launched at the beginning of the season and has gained steam in every city where the Redskins play.
“When you have the nation’s capital represented by the largest sport in America and their team is represented with a racial slur, that’s a problem,” Joel Barkin with the Oneida Indian Nation told CBS4’s Jennifer Brice.
That is the reason why the Oneida Indian Nation says they are launching a radio ad in Denver this weekend leading up to the game.
“Washington’s NFL team will always remain in the history books as the last team to permit integration,” the ad states. “Today team owner Dan Snyder is still choosing to use that racial slur, but it doesn’t have to be this way.”
The campaign called “Change the Mascot” urges the Redskins team owner and the NFL to change its name.
Carmen Clifford, a Native American who supports the campaign, says the name is derogatory.
“Because we’re not redskins, we’re human beings just like anyone else,” Clifford said.
At the Sports Fan apparel shop in Denver, employees say it’s a mixed bag about the Redskins name among fans.
“Some of them do embrace it, will buy the apparel and embrace the logo and name; and the other half definitely does not agree. They do find it offensive,” football fan Julian Moreno said.
While the Oneida Indian Nation says their polling found that the Redskin’s mascot has a negative effect on Native American children and people, a The Associated Press poll found 79 percent of people are in favor of keeping the team name.
“Who gets to decide what is offensive and what is not offensive? The person who is the target of the offense gets to decide that,” Barkin said.
In recent years a number of colleges and high schools have decided to stop using Native American mascots, but no professional teams have given in to pressure to change.