The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a tribe based in California and a relentless opponents of the name of the Washington Redskins aired a 60-second anti-Redskins commercial to run during halftime of Tuesday night’s NBA Finals game. The ad ran in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, and the tribe said it made a “significant investment” to purchase the air time.
I personally believe the investment and timing was perfect. They used another sport entity (the National Basketball Association) to get their point across instead of fighting an uphill battle with the NFL where commissioner Roger Goodell publicly stated that he was backing owner Dan Snyder in keeping the Redskins name. The tribe also picked the biggest stage of the NBA, the Finals, in order to capture the most attention in 60 seconds. I tip my hat for a job well done in the marketing strategy they used to get their point across to the general public.
If you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is in its entirety courtesy of The National Congress of American Indians.
I posted an article about this issue last year (https://getwittedsports.wordpress.com/category/daily-dose-of-gridiron/page/10/) plus Brandon and I made a video discussing how we felt about the name and we were on the same page about how the team should change the name. We have put forth the effort since the video NOT to use the redskin name anymore in our videos or in our writing. This might be the only time you will read about us mentioning that name from now on.
I recently read an article in the Washington Post where NBC “Sunday Night Football” play-by-play man Al Michaels stated that the debate to change the name “is nuts”.
“It seems to me as if he is going to hold on,” Michaels said. “I mean all of the sudden — I mean, for 70-some odd years this was a zero issue, and then it became an issue. I understand we live in this politically correct environment. It’s crazier than ever; you know, senators want to weigh in on this, like there’s nothing better to do in Congress. This becomes a big issue. I mean, I just think it’s nuts.”
This might be a “zero issue” to Michaels, most redskins fans and other people who don’t care about the culture of the Native Americans, but for the simple fact that they have been fighting for 70 years shows the tenacity and fortitude the Native Americans have. It’s not that the issue had disappeared or that they stopped and it came back to the forefront, now the tribes are using social media to get their point across and they were able to save up enough money to make a powerful with the commercial that was aired.
If you don’t see a problem with the word redskin, read the two definitions below from the Random House Dictionary and show me the difference.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.