There’s little debate among reasonable people that calling a Native American a “redskin,” is offensive. That’s why only unreasonable people would do it.
The Washington Redskins name, its alleged historical honoring of Native Americans aside, is offensive when measured by this yardstick. And, recently, efforts to pressure the NFL team to change it have gained traction.
Question: Do you want the government banning the uttering of the name, even if the team doesn’t change its name?
Several broadcasters have already stopped using the name. In a recent broadcast, Phil Simms, the CBS football analyst, refused to use the name.
Today, the FCC says it will consider a petition to ban the mention of the name on the nation’s airwaves. It has the authority to do so — the First Amendment does not extend equally to broadcasters because it’s regulated by the government.
“We’ll be looking at that petition, we will be dealing with that issue on the merits and we’ll be responding accordingly,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters today about the petition to strip a local radio station owned by the Redskins’ owner of its license .
“There are a lot of names and descriptions that were used over time that are inappropriate today. And I think the name that is attributed to the Washington football club is one of those,” Wheeler added.
“Despite whatever the origins of the word ‘R*skins’ may be, or the original intent of the owner who first gave the team its name, the evidence is now overwhelming that the current meaning is an offensive demeaning racial swear word, not only to many Indians, but also others,” John Banzhaf wrote in his petition to the FCC.
Don’t sell his prospects short. He’s the guy who got tobacco ads banned from TV in the ’60s.