On Thursday, critics of the name of the Washington football team issued a letter to CBS requesting that the television network not use the R-word to reference the Washington NFL franchise should the team make it to Super Bowl 50.
The team, ranked first in the NFC East, is set to play its first playoff game in three years on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
In light of the team potentially making the Super Bowl, Change the Mascot – a coalition of Native Americans and allies who oppose to the team name – is urging the network not to use the slur during its broadcast of the game on February 7.
“By doing so, CBS will be standing with the millions of Americans who do not want football to be used as an instrument of bigotry,” the letter reads.
Jackie Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, and Ray Halbitter, Oneida Nation representative, sent the letter to seven top CBS executives, citing numerous journalists and news organizations that have refused to use the R-word when referring to the Washington NFL team.
“All of these groups and leaders and opponents of the name understand what social science research has proven: the marketing and promotion of this slur has destructive consequences for Native Americans,” the letter states.
According to a press release issued by the Change the Mascot campaign, it also confronts the announcement that the Washington NFL team will play at Webley Stadium in London, England, next season, noting the “growing discontent and concern in Europe about using the racial slur at a sporting event held there.”
CBS representatives have not yet responded to the leaders of Change the Mascot. The television conglomerate also did not immediately respond to ICTMN’s for comment.
Change the Mascot is a campaign based on Oneida Nation Territory that works to educate on the dangers of using Native American mascots and racial slurs.
The Super Bowl will be held Sunday, February 7 at 3:30 p.m. PST at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.