Washington DC radio stations WJFK-FM sports talk station and WPGC-FM music station are refusing to air an ad that encourages the Washington Redskins to their change their name. The ad, made by the Oneida Indian Nation, is asking owner Dan Snyder to change the name.
“By changing his team’s name, Mr. Snyder can create a better historical legacy for himself — one of tolerance and mutual respect, not of racial epithets,” reads part of the ad’s script. “Native Americans do not want their people to be hurt by such painful epithets. We just want to be treated as what we all are: Americans.”
Senior vice president of CBS Radio Washington Steve Swenson told the Oneida Indian Nation that they will not air ads from only one side, considering the argument is a constant debate in DC. Both stations are owned by CBS radio:
“The issue has been heavily debated on WJFK where we can provide a good balance of discussion, opinions and context to the issue through our programming,” Swenson said by e-mail. “Our audience has reacted positively to that presentation, and we will continue to approach the situation keeping in-line with our audiences’ expectations.”
The Indian nation is not pleased.
“It is unfortunate and un-American that the station permits the team to slander Native Americans on the public airwaves with the use of the r-word, but doesn’t permit Native Americans to use the same airwaves to object to the use of a racial slur,” Oneida Indian Nation spokesman Ray Halbritter told the Post.
The Redskins name has been a hot topic, but the controversy surrounding it intensified after President Obama jumped into the discussion. He said if he were the owner he would consider changing the name. After that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell changed his tone after many years of saying the Redskins honored the American Indians. Now he says he is confident Snyder will change the team name.