Tuesday night, during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on ABC, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation aired an ad protesting the nickname of the Washington Redskins.
The 60-second spot, which ran in Miami during Game 2 Sunday night, ran in seven cities: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In January, a longer version of the video was placed on YouTube by the National Congress of American Indians with the caption, “Watch the #BigGame commercial the NFL would never air.” The video has gone viral, garnering more than 2,400,000 hits.
The ad starts with a single note on the guitar, as the voice-over intones single words accompanied by a picture for each word:
Proud. Forgotten. Indian.
Then the guitar starts a rhythmic pattern as the words continue:
Navajo. Blackfoot. Inuit and Sioux. Survivor. Spiritualist. Patriot.
Voices enter to join the guitar:
Sitting Bull. Hiawatha and Jim Thorpe. Mother. Father. Son. Daughter. Chief. Mills. Geronimo.
The voices diminish, leaving the guitar more prominent:
Unyielding. Strong. Indomitable. Native Americans call themselves many things…
The music slows:
…the one thing they don’t…
A shot of a picture of the Washington Redskins helmet next to a football follows a single guitar note.