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FCC Chairman Says ‘Redskins’ Name Should Go

Sep 10, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has added his formidable voice to the chorus of criticism over the “Redskins” name for Washington’s NFL team. B&C reports that Tom Wheeler said he thinks the name is offensive and should be changed, but he added that public pressure is the best way to get that done.

“Former FCC Chair Reed Hundt, who is leading an effort by former FCC officials and others to get Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the name of the team, had asked FCC commissioners to speak out,” the story reports. “Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has said she knew the name was offensive to a number of people and had concerns herself, but Wheeler had yet to weigh in — the other commissioners have declined comment.”

Wheeler told the publication: “I don’t use the term personally and I think it is offensive and derogatory. I am a Civil War buff, and there were a lot of terms that were appropriate at that time that aren’t appropriate anymore.”

Hundt has expressed the opinion that the term could be determined to be indecent by FCC standards, the report notes.

As we reported earlier this month, a George Washington University law professor, John Banzhaf, has taken the case further, filing a challenge to the license of radio station WWXX-FM Washington (ESPN 980) over its use of the term “Redskins.”

Asked by B&C whether the FCC has a role in bringing about a change on the use of the term, Wheeler said: “I think it would be great if the Washington football team would recognize those kinds of changes itself. I hope that this is something that if enough people express themselves, Dan Snyder can see which way things are going.”

More than 100 groups, including Common Cause and the NAACP, have asked broadcasters to stop using the term, the report notes.

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3 Comments

  1. ok here is when I get frustrated. The name of the Redskins, The WASHINGTON REDSKINS to be exact should not be of controversy . It has been that way for over 75 years I believe and it stay that way because of they make the case to change the name of one team with a name like that what is to stop them from going after the Chicago Blackhawks, the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves. if this is allowed then other fans should prepare for other team’s names to change because others see it as offensive when it really is just the name of a team that really has no stance or meaning towards anybody, it is just a name, not a disrespecting term towards anybody. It is just a sports team name that means a lot to people who follow that particular team, not to come after anybody. Besides why do people care if the name of the team is the WASHINGTON REDSKINS. IF you don’t like the team then don’t go after a team because you would rather see them fail. Answer this one question, how would you feel if someone wanted to change your name, or even the name of your town?

  2. Gosh you’re right M. Let’s not change the name because it’s been that way far a long time.
    While we’re at it let’s go back to calling black people American Negros, because it was that way for a long time. Let’s open a new Mexican Restaurant called Wetbacks, cause there’s no problem there. And last but not least let’s start calling Notre Dame the Fighting Micks, cause well, what’s in a name?

    When you say you’re trying to honor a group of people, but using a racial slur that many of them find offensive, maybe it’s time to think about a change. The word redskin is a derogatory term that many people (not just Native Americans) find offensive. At least the other team names aren’t slurs.

    How about changing it to the Washington Warriors and making a lot of money selling fans new hats and shirts with the same images. Think of the millions they would make!

  3. So Jim, I guess we should encourage the Oklahoma State Legislature, perhaps Congress and the President, to change the state of Oklahoma’s name. It is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning “red people.

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