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Minute-Long ‘Change the Mascot’ Ad Aired Nationally During NBA Finals

by Chris Lingebach
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Screenshot from the ad scheduled to air during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Screenshot from the ad scheduled to air during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A minute-long ‘Change the Mascot’ advertisement aired at halftime of Game 3 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night, and ironically, the song behind it was written by a lifelong Redskins fan.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation paid for the ad, first created by the National Congress of American Indians, which was a trimmed-down version of a two-minute spot targeted definitively at the Washington Redskins, a team that’s fallen under heavy scrutiny in recent years for its nickname, perceived by some as being offensive.

It aired in seven major markets — Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — although, in a press release prior to it airing, Oneida Indian Nation inaccurately noted “this is the  the first time the ad has aired on television,” while later noting it had already aired in the Miami market during Game 2.

The spot, according to that same release, was aimed at educating the public “about Native American opposition to the R-word.”

It described Native Americans as holding honorable jobs, like teachers, doctors and soldiers, set against strong, prideful imagery, and even stronger adjectives — such as unyielding and indomitable, to name a few — juxtaposed against the closing statement, “Native Americans call themselves many things. The one thing they don’t …” before cutting away to a still image of a Washington Redskins helmet.

Watch the full version of the ad below.

The Redskins organization was the target of a recent self-inflicted social media meltdown, when a #RedskinsPride Twitter campaign — soliciting fans to tweet U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who’s pushing for the team to change its name — backfired, transforming the campaign into a national punchline.

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