The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a petition to prohibit broadcasters from using the name ‘Redskins,’ the longtime nickname of the Washington National Football League (NFL).
Reuters reports George Washington University professor and legal activist John Banzhaf III filed a petition to the FCC to strip a Washington, D.C. area radio station of its license when its up for renewal for using the ‘Redskins’ name. Banzhaf says the name is racist, derogatory, profane, and hateful–“akin to broadcasting obscenity.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says the Commision will be “responding accordingly” to Banzhaf’s petition.
“We’ll be looking at that petition, we will be dealing with that issue on the merits and we’ll be responding accordingly.
“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’s comments caused a stir on Twitter Wednesday:
@FCC GO REDSKINS!!! I have decided to drop Washington since I find that part of it offensive. You guys are a joke> Go get a REAL JOB & Life
— Cowgirl (@lbbowyer84) October 1, 2014
If the word “Redskins” offends you then you’ve got problems that banning a word can’t fix. #FCC
— Ryan Piper (@Rpiper07) October 1, 2014
— ChrisTodaro (@ctodaro21) October 1, 2014
— Christina M (@ChristinaMets15) October 1, 2014
— Tim Dyche (@tjdyche) October 1, 2014
People who have a problem with the name #Redskins need to get a life
— Roger R. Smith (@haislaguy) October 1, 2014
Ahead of the 2014 NFL season, analysts Phil Simms and Tony Dungy announced they would attempt to remove the term ‘Redskins’ from their lexicon.
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When Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, whose office oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was interviewed by ABC News last month, she said the ‘Redskins’ name is not a primary concern to tribal leaders she encounters, even though she finds it ‘surprising’ that the name has not been changed.
“In talking with tribal leaders, this has not been the issue that they have talked about with me, and I think that there is debate, even among the Native American community, on the Washington Redskins, and certainly there are a lot of people who have pride in that team.
“So, my personal views are not necessarily reflected in the tribes that I talk to. It isn’t high on their agenda.”