Two prominent network NFL announcers say they will no longer use the term “Redskins” in reference to the league’s Washington franchise. The Associated Press reports that CBS lead analyst Phil Simms and NBC’s Tony Dungy indicated they plan to stop using the term.
“My very first thought is it will be ‘Washington’ the whole game,” Simms told the news service.
The report notes: “Simms will work the Thursday night package the network acquired this season and will have Giants-Redskins on Sept. 25. He isn’t taking sides in the debate over whether Washington’s nickname is offensive or racist. But he says he is sensitive to the complaints about the name, and his instincts now are to not use ‘Redskins’ in his announcing.”
Several CBS announcers said they will continue to use the name, with CBS studio crew member and Westwood One analyst Boomer Esiason saying at a network news conference about the network’s NFL coverage, “That’s the name of their team and that’s what I am going to use.”
CBS said previously that it would leave the decision about whether to use the term up to the individual announcers. Some people have criticized the team’s name as offensive, with NBC’s Bob Costas last year saying, “Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, ‘Redskins’ can’t possibly honor a heritage, or noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent.”