Redskins Face Continuing Controversy with New Television Ad


Nick Glennon

Nick Glennon D Block 6/11/14


Redskins Face Continuing Controversy with New Television Ad

The NFL’s Washington Redskins have recently faced criticism regarding their name. A controversial advertisement addressing the name was aired Tuesday night during the NBA Finals game.


NBA fans tuned in on Tuesday night to watch Lebron James and the Miami Heat go for their 3rd straight championship in a rematch against the San Antonio Spurs. Game 3 and the series tied at 1-1: it doesn’t get much more exciting than that. It was a helluva game as Kwahi Leonard and the Spurs held their own in Miami in a decisive nineteen point win to go up 2-1 in the series. However, the Spurs dominating victory wasn’t the only thing from Tuesday night making headlines. Those who were tuned into the game were shocked when an ad opposing the Washington Redskins name was unexpectedly shown live. Fans in Chicago, New York, Sacramento, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington were exposed to the commercial.


The controversy over the name is no new thing but this is the first time it’s been spotlighted to a huge television audience. Several Native American tribes have denounced the teams name as being racially insensitive and offensive. Despite the feelings of Native Americans, owner Dan Snyder has stood his ground and has not changed the teams name. It’s an interesting issues because for decades nobody thought anything of a team being called the Redskins. Only recently did this controversy begin and catch fire. Never before had anybody ever viewed the name as being offensive in any way whatsoever.


The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation tribe was the tribe that aired the commercial. The feelings of anger over the nickname are well documented amongst Native American tribes. It’s a known fact that many tribes take the name as being offensive and hurtful – especially considering our country’s tumultuous history when it comes to relations with Native people. To some, Redskin is just as bad a term as the N-word. Slaves were called the N-word during their time on plantations in the south and Native Americans were referred to as redskins by settlers invading their homeland. The hatred rooted behind the origins of both slurs are quite similar.


Should the Redskins change their name? Is it truly offensive to Native Americans? Leave your opinions in the comments.