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Oneida Indian Nation launches campaign against Washington Redskins

By WKTV News

The Oneida Indian Nation announced Thursday the launch of an advertising campaign to urge the NFL's Washington Redskins to change its name.

The first ads will air on sports radio in Washington, D.C., in advance of the team's season-opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the initial spots, National Football League's Commissioner Roger Goodell is praised for recently condemning Eagle's player Riley Cooper's use of a racial slur. The ad then asks Goodell to do the right thing and join the campaign to stop the Washington team from using Redskins as a mascot and team name.

"As a proud sponsor of the NFL, we are concerned that the NFL's continued use of such an offensice term is undermining its position as a uifying force in America," said Oneida Naiton Representative Ray Halbritter, who is featured in the radio ad.

"America is a society that values mutual respect. Using a slur and making a mascot out of our indigenous culture has no place in such a society. We believe that with the help of our fellow professional football fans, we can get the NFL to realize the error of its ways and make a very simple change."

The ads are available at www.changethemascot.org.

In April, high school students in Cooperstown voted to change their mascot from Redskins, prompting a wave of headlines about the use of the term in the NFL. In May, congressional lawmakers formally asked the league to consider a name change.

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