News & Politics

Newest Anti-Redskins Ad Shows What the Team Would Look Like Without Its Logo

The latest salvo in the campaign to change the team's name arrives right before the Super Bowl.

No logo, no problem? Screenshot via YouTube.

Just in time for the Super Bowl, the Oneida Indian Nation is back with another ad in support of its campaign to get Washington’s NFL team to change its name to something that does not offend Native Americans. The 38-second clip, titled “Take It Away,” shows how the team—and its fans—would appear if team’s well-known logo was removed from the burgundy-and-gold uniforms and merchandise.

The video was produced for the Oneidas’ “Change the Mascot” campaign by goodness Mfg., a California advertising agency that recently conducted a poll finding that while four out of five Americans would not use “redskin” in conversation with a Native American, 72 percent are comfortable with the term as a name for a football team.

Goodness was also behind last year’s “Proud to Be” ad, which also debuted around the Super Bowl, and was later broadcast on television during the NBA Finals. “Take It Away” uses footage from 2012 of then-healty quarterback Robert Griffin III scoring on a 76-yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings, and jumping into a passel of exuberant Washington fans. In every shot, Griffin’s and his teammates’ helmets, as well as the fans’ gear, are scrubbed of their logos and team names.

“Our ‘Take It Away’ spot demonstrates that changing the name would not take anything away from the fan experience,” the Oneidas say in a press release. “By keeping the mascot, the Washington team’s ownership is forcing fans and players to support a dictionary-defined racial slur. Washington fans and players shouldn’t be put in that position. They should be able to root for a team that honors the most basic notions of civility and respect.”

Don’t expect this ad to climb down from the internet and appear on broadcast television, though. Besides the exorbitant cost of ad time during the Super Bowl—$4.5 million for a 30-second spot—”Take It Away” also uses NFL game footage without the league’s consent. But the ad will be promoted on YouTube to Washington-area users over the next few weeks. At the same time, the Oneida Indian Nation is also sponosoring a robo-call campaign in the area, featuring a message recorded by two fans of the team who support the push to change the name.

As always, this is the part where we remind you that Dan Snyder has said he will “never” change the name of his NFL team.

Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.