New York's Oneida Indian Nation says it is launching a radio ad campaign pressing for the Washington Redskins to get rid of a nickname the tribe considers to be a racial slur.
The Oneida Indian Nation helped the Cooperstown Central School District change its team name from the 'Redskins' to the 'Hawkeyes' earlier this year.
The first ad is set to run on radio stations in Washington before the team hosts the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. In it, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should "stand up to bigotry."
"As a proud sponsor of the NFL, we are concerned that the NFL's continued use of such an offensive term is undermining its position as a unifying force in America," said Halbritter.
The ads launch as the Washington Redskins this year face a fresh barrage of criticism over their nickname. Team owner Dan Snyder has vowed to never change the name.
"We hope that when NFL fans across the country hear these radio ads in advance of their teamsâ?? games with the Washington franchise, they will speak out and tell the NFL to do the right thing. The time has come for a change - one that lives up to the ideals of mutual respect," said Halbritter.
An NFL spokesman says the name is used in a respectful manner and the league respects "that reasonable people may have differing views."
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)