Friday, October 18, 2013

Major Broadcasting Figures Call for Washington NFL Name Change

Source: Oneida Nation
This past Sunday, Bob Costas became one of a long list of influential figures who has come out in support of changing the name of the Washington football team.  While I don't agree with all that he said during his commentary (Costas believes the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, and other teams with Native American mascots are innocuous in their use), I applaud him for using his considerable influence to keep the lightning rod issue front and center.

Costas said: "R-dskins can't possibly honor a heritage or a 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.  It's fair to say that for a long time now and, certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended.  But, if you take a step back, isn't it clear to see how offense might legitimately be taken?"

Cris Collingsworth, another long-time NFL broadcaster, has also vocalized his support for the name change.  He stated: “I have a feeling if it were the blackskins, the brownskins, the name would have already been changed...You don’t name something after something derogatory. You wouldn’t name your child something derogatory. You wouldn’t name your team something derogatory... [I]n this day and age, R-dskins just doesn’t work.”  If major figures within the sporting world are openly criticizing the use of the term "R-dskins", it means Dan Snyder's fight to preserve the racist name is a losing battle.

David Letterman and Bill O'Reilly also weighed in on the matter a few nights ago, with Letterman mocking O'Reilly's disregard of the injustices Native American people have faced.

President Obama has also stated that he would consider changing the Washington name.  Oklahoma Republican politician Tom Cole opposes the use of the term, which suggests the issue offends people of all political affiliations.

Written by: Toni

Sources:
Bob Costas Clip
Washington Post: Cris Collingsworth

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