An ad opposing the team name of the Washington NFL club will appear at halftime of tonight's NBA Finals game in seven major TV markets, paid for by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
Marshall McKay, chairman of the northern California tribe, said in a message posted to YouTube: "The R-word is as derogatory a slur as the N-word."
The ad is a 60-second version of a longer ad created by the National Congress of American Indians that has previously run online. The revised ad will air in Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento and San Francisco, and also aired in Miami during Sunday's Finals game, according to a news release from the Oneida Indian Nation, a central New York tribe that ran radio ads opposing the team name last football season in markets where the Washington team played.
The longer version of the ad gives dozens of names — teacher, soldier, Seminole, Seneca — and ends with: "Native Americans call themselves many things. The one thing they don't …" and the screen shows a Washington helmet next to a football. The ad scrupulously avoids using the term "Redskins."
In a joint statement, NCAI executive director Jackie Pata and Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter applauded the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation "for having the vision and commitment to ensure that the American public receives the message loud and clear. … Contrary to the team's absurd claims, this dictionary-defined racial epithet does not honor our heritage."
Team owner Daniel Snyder has called the name a badge of honor and said that he will never change it. The Washington team did not immediately return a request for comment.
See the ad below.