Two Washington, D.C., radio stations have silenced the Oneida Indian Nation.
According to a news release, CBS stations WJFK and WPGC will not air the Nation’s new radio ad, called “Legacy,” which is part of the “Change the Mascot” campaign. A representative from CBS said that the increased discussion around the Washington football team’s name was the reason for pulling the ad.
“Based on the amount of on-air debate, adding paid commercials from one side is not something that we think is beneficial for this discussion and for our audience,” Steve Swenson, senior vice president of CBS Radio Washington wrote in an e-mail that was provided by the Oneida Nation to The Washington Post.
“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 Representative Ray Halbritter said in a news release. “We will not be silent mascots. This issue is not going away, as evidenced by the growing and diverse support this effort gains by the day."
WJFK or 106.7 The Fan is the same radio station that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used to say that it was important to “listen” to fans of differing points of view about whether the team’s name was offensive. The station bills itself as an “unbiased” and “unfiltered” station for D.C. sports fans that “never holds back.”
The ad, that was scheduled to run this weekend, queried the history of the Redskins name saying that the original owner, Preston Marshall, chose to use a racial slur as the team’s name. The ad also questioned what legacy Snyder would leave.
“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,” Halbritter says in the ad. “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.”
“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 to The Post. “Our audience has reacted positively to that presentation, and we will continue to approach the situation keeping in-line with our audiences’ expectations.”