A legal challenge against broadcasters’ use of the term “Redskins” on the air is expanding from the East Coast to include the West Coast.
B&C reports that legal activist John Banzhaf plans to challenge at least one TV station license in Los Angeles over the on-air use of the term. The report notes that Banzhaf didn’t disclose which station or stations he might challenge.
“Why L.A.? It is the largest market with the nearest license renewal date,” the story notes. “California TV station licenses expire Dec. 1. Petitions to deny renewals of those licenses are due Nov. 3.”
Banzhaf, who has filed a petition to deny the renewal of Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio station WWXX in Washington, D.C., told the publication, “I plan to have filed — by and on behalf of Native Americans — at least one and perhaps more petitions opposing the renewal of the broadcast licenses of major L.A. TV station(s).”
He argues that the use of the term to refer to the Washington NFL team is a form of hate speech and that its use isn’t in the public interest. Team owner Snyder has said some Native Americans don’t oppose the name, and said he won’t change it.
The B&C story adds: “The FCC is currently considering the WWXX petition. Three out of the five commissioners (the Democrats) have expressed their own concerns about the name, including FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, but that is different from a finding that its use invalidates a station license, something Wheeler has made clear.”