Opponents of the Redskins name will politicize the Martin Luther King holiday by insisting that the civil rights hero would be fighting with them for a name change if were he alive.
The Oneida Nation radio ad in which Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.) says the “Washington football team should change the mascot and make the name of our team a source of pride that honors D.C.’s tradition of respect for all Americans” will run on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Seattle, Denver, and Washington, D.C.
“We have no doubt that if Martin Luther King Jr. could speak today, he would lend his support to the current efforts of our Native American brothers and sisters,” Holmes-Norton says in the radio ad. “We know from our history as African Americans in this country that offensive terms not only should, but can, be cast aside if we do not retreat into silence.”
Holmes-Norton then says that “residents of the capital of our nation have always tried to set an example for tolerance and mutual respect. Yet the current name of our NFL football team stands in stark contrast to these values.”
“Many of our residents, like me, were part of the civil rights movement or identify strongly with its goals and philosophy,” she says. “We recognize that the Change the Mascot campaign to end the use of the ‘R-word’ is both a moral and civil rights issue in keeping with our city’s respect for the dignity of all people.”
The Redskins recently said that a national Public Policy Poll conducted by the left-leaning organization, which found that 71% of those surveyed nationally were opposed to a name change, was proof that “very few people” want a name change.