Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes the Washington Redskins name is “offensive and derogatory.”
“I don’t use the term personally and I think it is offensive and derogatory,” Wheeler said in an interview with B&C/Multichannel News. Wheeler also told the outlet that he is a Civil War enthusiast, “and there were a lot of terms that were appropriate at that time that aren’t appropriate any more.”
While Wheeler did find the name offensive, he did not call for action against the Washington Redskins organization. “I think it would be great if the Washington football team would recognize those kinds of changes itself.” and added,
“I hope that this is something that if enough people express themselves, [owner] Dan Snyder can see which way things are going.”
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Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt wrote a letter with former commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson contending that an indecency case could be made against a broadcaster who air the Washington Redskins name. They wrote, “It is impermissible under law that the FCC would condone, or that broadcasters would use, obscene pornographic language on live television,” and continued:
“This medium uses government owned airwaves in exchange for an understanding that it will promote the public interest. Similarly, it is inappropriate for broadcasters to use racial epithets as part of normal, everyday reporting.”
Hundt told Politico in an email that “the FCC should hold a hearing. It would be on ESPN. Shame the name.”
In the past few weeks, The Washington Post Editorial Board announced it will not be using the term ‘Redskins’; and The New York Daily News announced it will not use ‘Redskins’ when writing stories about the Washington Redskins.
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Photo credit: ALA Washington Office (Flickr)
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