A video urging billion-dollar courier company FedEx to end its corporate sponsorship with the Washington NFL team will be released Sunday to coincide with the team’s season opener, the filmmakers said.
Native Voice Network (NVN), a coalition of more than 25 Native American organizations, commissioned 1491s' Ryan Redcorn to write and produce the clip aptly titled, “FedEx Fail.”
ICTMN received the video as an exclusive, available here:
The video, starring artist and filmmaker Steven Paul Judd, draws correlations between racism directed at Native Americans and other ethnicities, Redcorn told ICTMN.
Redcorn, who owns Buffalo Nickel Creative ad agency, said it he hopes audiences will experience an “a-ha!” moment once they see the film.
“The point of the campaign is to build awareness that the Washington team name is racist,” said Laura Harris, executive director of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO). AIO is the main organizer of NVN. “FedEx has a great diversity statement for their employees and corporation,” she said. “We think it’s hypocritical of them to support an NFL team that uses a racist name when their diversity statement explicitly states they are against racism. … Their sponsorship is not appropriate and not in line with their corporate policy.”
NVN spokeswoman Chrissie Castro said what matters most is the mental wellness and stability of Native American children. Castro cited the American Psychological Association’s call to ban Indian mascots on the grounds that such images and language have a negative impact on a Native American child’s self-esteem. "FedEx doesn't think this is a particularly important issue," Castro wrote in a press release. “We do. How can you put a price on our children’s mental health? … We’ve received a lot of negative backlash from proponents of the Washington Team retaining its name. I just have to ask myself, ‘When did America’s pastime become more important than America’s children?’”
Redcorn said it was important for him to make the video a human issue – one that can be comprehended by all races and ethnicities. As the heat increases on team owner Dan Snyder to change the name, Redcorn added, so too will the heat rise against FedEx.
The Washington football team will play against the Houston Texans for their season opener on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST. “What better day to [release the video] than on their opening day?” Harris said.