The fight over the Washington Redskins team name has hit the radio — well, sort of.
The Oneida Indian Nation, who is spearheading the campaign to get the team’s nickname changed, bought some radio ad space on two local CBS-affiliated radio stations in Washington D.C. recently. Only, when the time came, both WJFK and WPCG decided not to run the ads, according to the Washington Post.
“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 email to the Oneida Nation.
The Oneida Nation responded by releasing a statement in frustration about the radio stations’ decisions, even going as far as to call the acts “un-American.”
“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 the statement. “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.”
Neither CBS station holds the radio rights to the Redskins, so there is no direct conflict of interest. Although, it’s entirely possible that team owner Dan Snyder caught wind of the ads and strongly encouraged the station to forego playing them.
The debate will undoubtedly rage on in the weeks and months to come, and the Oneida Nation will find places to run these ads one way or another.