Actually, it’s pretty easy.
It’s still Washington football, as the ad says. Regardless of whether they have a racist mascot.
So why not change it?
A Washington Post piece by Dan Steinberg offers some background on the ad:
The ad is a joint effort of the National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation, which has led — and financed — much of the name-change effort in recent years. The same groups collaborated on an ad called “Proud to Be” before last year’s Super Bowl; that two-minute spot has been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube. A shorter version of “Proud to Be” also aired in seven major markets during Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Both the new ad and the 2014 effort were produced by the Goodness MFG agency.
I donated money to Change the Mascot video for this year’s Super Bowl and it was money well spent. During last year’s Super Bowl, our group of Native parents and allies from across the country (Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry) trended #NotYourMascot and relentlessly tweeted out the link to the Change the Mascot video made last year challenging the Washington NFL team’s use of an ethnic slur as its name. We doubled its views during our Twitterstorm. But this year we may not get a chance to do that because it could be pulled from Youtube as they daringly used without permission actual NFL footage of RJ III scoring a touchdown scrubbing all the Native mascotry from the helmets and the field. Instead, all we see is the beauty of that run, the athleticism and daring of the human form and the fans cradling their favorite player in their arms in ecstasy afterwards. And that is splendid. Even if we don’t get to trend the video I say it was worth it. The ending, “Take it away and it’s till Washington football” says it all. It says a simple truth well and there are few things that do that in this world and I applaud them for it.
In his WaPo piece, Steinberg quotes comedian Sarah Silverman, who spoke on The Late Late Show about how she once was forced to have a change of heart about oppressive and discriminatory language.
“I’ve been on both sides of this. Because it wasn’t long ago — a decade ago, less — that I was defending saying ‘gay.’ It’s gay, it’s queer, it’s gay. And I’d be like, ‘No, I have gay friends. I’m not talking about them. I’m saying gay like lame.’ And then I realized that I was the grandpa who was going, ‘I say colored! I have colored friends!’ It’s nothing different.
Change the name. Change it now.