THE BLOG

The Super Bowl Ad You Never Saw

02/03/2014 12:53 pm ET | Updated Apr 05, 2014

"THE State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory. This sum is more than the dead bodies of all the Indians east of the Red River are worth." This blood lust kill ad was an actual bounty notice published by the Daily Republican in 1865. The original ad can be seen here.

Hidden within ancient history books lies the truth. The term "redskin" as seen above, is of the most derogatory in nature, the reality of which most know nothing about. Perhaps this is why, Washington Redskins, the name of a football team in the National Football League, does not disgust and overwhelm at mention. Suffice to say, the aforementioned advertisement are evidence enough of the offensive nature of the term Redskin and the name of the football team must be changed.

Aware of the horrific nature of the term, activists have attempted for several years to petition the owner of the Washington football team, Daniel Snyder, to change the name. However, Snyder is adamant that he will do no such thing, and last May, he firmly told a reporter, "We will never change the name of the team."

The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has supported Snyder in his decision. According to the Washington Post, at a recent news conference Goodell said,

I've been spending the last year talking to many of the leaders in the Native American communities. We are listening. We are trying to make sure we understand the issues. Let me remind you: This is the name of a football team, a football team that's had that name for 80 years and has presented the name in a way that it has honored Native Americans.

His comments make all too clear that the issue has not been understood. Native Americans have repeatedly protested the team name. Further, if the people the "nickname" references state over and over again that the term is offensive and derogatory, their statement must be taken very seriously.

It isn't the decision of people outside of the offended group to dictate whether the term is honorable or offensive.

And to address Goodell's comments that -- this is the name of a football team that has had its name for 80 years -- the word "redskins" is a reference to a people that were thrown out of their own homes, savagely killed on their own land and forced to live in designated "reservations." So yes this is a football team that represents the nations capital, is "redskins" really the best representation of a proud and respectable organization? To that end, now that that team is rebuilding itself around a new franchise quarterback, there is no better time for the team to have a fresh start, with a new name.

As for the unseen Super Bowl Ad, a few days ago, the National Congress of American Indians released an advertisement to raise awareness about the issue. The ad can be seen here. The moving advertisement depicts Native Americans and their achievements ending with, "Native American's call themselves many things, but one thing they don't call themselves," -- well you can guess.