Article Responses, Movements and Organizations, Sports and Entertainment

Proud To Be: NFL Controversy


Currently trending in Indian Country is the NFL Super Bowl ad that was never aired due to its controversy, called Proud To Be. The ad has been produced by the National Congress of American Indians to promote the movement to change the mascot name for the Washington NFL team from its culturally offensive “Redskins” to something much more appropriate and acceptable.

Throughout the week and the evening of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII game of 2 Feb, between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, hashtags such as #NotYourMascot, #changethename, #changethemascot and #ProudToBe have flooded Twitter and Facebook in support of the movement.

The movement to change the mascot name took off in 2013, as Native American leaders and activists cited research and testimony of the defined offensive slur and stereotypes that have effected the Native community.

On Friday 31 Jan, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell was reported saying that the team name is honorable to the American Indian people, however, the Native community does not feel the same way. Goodell also stated that due to a poll conducted on the general public it was resulted that the mascot name was not offensive. However the poll that he was referring to was 10 years old. A recent 2013 poll shows a decline in support for the name by Americans. When Goodell was asked if the term was appropriate in reference to a Native American, Goodell said, “this is the name of a football team.”

More demands from the Oneida Indian Nation have been made in the demand to change the name. In the past week the Oneida Nation leader, Ray Halbritter approached the UN for the support in the change. However, even with the various attempts, the Redskins team owner, Daniel Snyder has responded saying he “will never change the name of the team.”

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