An online ad released Friday hopes to show what a Washington NFL game would be like without its controversial mascot.
"Take It Away," created by the National Congress of American Indians as part of the Change the Mascot campaign, features Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III running 76 yards for a touchdown before a delirious crowd in 2012. But the team's logo on his helmet has been digitally removed in the broadcast clip and there is no mention of the team name.
"Take it away and it's still Washington football," the kicker reads.
"Our 'Take It Away' spot demonstrates that changing the name would not take anything away from the fan experience," NCAI Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said in a statement. "By keeping the mascot, the Washington team's ownership is forcing fans and players to support a dictionary-defined racial slur."
Ad agency goodness Mfg produced the ad with Kickstarter funds raised by Change the Mascot. The video will appear online only, though releasing it close to the Super Bowl is intentional. The ad follows the NCAI's viral "Proud to Be" spot, which premiered during Super Bowl week last year.
NCAI President Brian Cladoosby told The Huffington Post he hopes the latest ad will bolster a campaign designed "to tell our story and educate people about what this name truly means."
"This is a term that does not honor me or my people," he said. "At the end of the day, we want to share the real meaning of the word, and then let people make up their own minds on whether it’s appropriate to use it."
On Monday, the civil rights nonprofit Fritz Pollard Alliance denounced the team's use of the name "Redskins" after studying the issue. The NAACP and ACLU are among prominent groups to have already publicly condemned the mascot. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team's trademark registration in 2014, calling the name "disparaging to Native Americans."
Team owner Dan Snyder has said he will "never" change the name, and the NFL has deferred to the team on the issue.
A 2014 poll indicated that the majority of fans do not think Washington should change its name.