Fans who watched Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night saw one of the more powerful messages advocating a change of name for the Washington Redskins.
The message came in a commercial sponsored by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The ad was a 60-second version of a spot which was posted before the Super Bowl and has gained nearly 2 million views on YouTube.
Here's the full version:
Seeing as the ad takes a strong stand against the use of the name "Redskins," it is more than a little ironic that the song used in the background was written by a diehard Washington fan.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post spoke with Tim Cretella of the band Doppio, which is comprised of Cretella and his wife, Brittany (below). Both are lifelong Redskins fans who grew up in the D.C. area. Cretella first learned that his song, "The Battle," would be used by the NCAI in January. The "Proud To Be" spot has gained about 1.9 million YouTube views since it was posted on Jan. 27.
But Cretella's big break came when his agency told him a shortened version of the ad would be played in major markets during an NBA Finals game.
“You’re waiting, you keep waiting -- we waited for a whole year, and nothing,” he told the Post. “It’s almost not real when you know [your music] is airing on the other side of the world. This time it will be in the moment, on my TV screen, knowing that millions of people around the country are seeing this, and it came out of my [bleeping] head. It's wild."
Cretella says the reaction to his good fortune has been mostly positive among his friends who are Redskins fans, even if they don't think the team should change its name. Cretella, who watches nearly every game, says his views on the subject have evolved over the years.
“Personally, I think if there’s anyone we’ve mistreated in this country, it’s the Indians,” he said. “And if there are any of them who are sincerely offended by the name, I think we should definitely consider changing it. I’ve kind of always been one for the underdog anyway.”
According to Cretella, the song was not written as an anti-Redskins anthem and is not meant to convey a Native American theme.