Do away with the pejorative. Erase the dehumanizing Native American caricature-logo. What do you have? You have what you've had all along – a Washington football team, says a new ad.
The spot, titled "Take It Away" and released Friday by the Change the Mascot campaign – a coalition between the National Congress of American Indians [NCAI] and the Oneida Indian Nation to rid the Washington football team of its moniker and logo – demonstrates how the energy of the fans wouldn't deflate if the team were no longer named the R-word.
The video is of a breakaway run by quarterback RGIII and the resulting celebration. All R-word references – on the field, on helmets and hats – have been whited out.
By keeping the team name, owner Dan Snyder is forcing fans to support a word that is offensive to Native Americans, said NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter in a joint statement.
“Our ‘Take It Away’ spot demonstrates that changing the name would not take anything away from the fan experience. By keeping the mascot, the Washington team’s ownership is forcing fans and players to support a dictionary-defined racial slur,” the statement reads. “Washington fans and players shouldn’t be put in that position. They should be able to root for a team that honors the most basic notions of civility and respect. No Americans should be treated as targets of racial slurs - and no fans or players should be forced to support such slurs as a condition of supporting a sports team. It is time for Dan Snyder to change the mascot.”
It was this time last year – days leading up to the Super Bowl – that the Change the Mascot campaign released its "Proud to Be" video in protest of the Washington team name. The video, which to date has more than three million views, argued "Native Americans call themselves many things. The one thing they don't ..." is a 'Redskin.'
Watch the new "Take It Away" ad below.