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SBD/July 24, 2014/Media
Redskins' Name Controversy Poses Unique Issue For NFL Reporters, Broadcasters
Published July 24, 2014
SHOULD CBS TAKE A STANCE? CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus last week said the net would not dictate to its broadcasters whether to use the Redskins name or not during a telecast, but the N.Y. Daily News’ Mike Lupica said, "The idea that announcers should actually refrain from calling the Redskins ‘the Redskins’ this season -- as if that solves anything -- is as silly as (Redskins Owner Daniel) Snyder is stubborn and pig headed on the issue." Lupica: "We've survived this long with this nickname, and that includes well-intentioned people leading the crusade against it. We’ll survive hearing them called Redskins this season by football announcers" (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN2, 7/20). ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said, "I can't pretend it's not the name of the team. That's really the reason why I think they should change it, because it's the only remaining reason why the word is used. But I can't pretend it isn't. ... If the team is going to be continued to be called that, it strikes me at minimum a complicated exercise not to call the team by its name. That's the problem with the team having the name. If everyone ignored the team's name, the name wouldn't be a problem” (“Mike and Mike,” ESPN Radio, 7/21). However, in DC, Thom Loverro wrote if CBS "believes the name is offensive, don’t use the name." Loverro: "Take a position. Don’t leave it up to your announcers, who will now be on the firing line in the name change debate." People "will be keeping score, and taking notes." Loverro: "Will Phil Simms use the name? If so, does that make him a racist?" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/23). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy called CBS' stance "weak." He asked, "Why should broadcasters be the ones to make a decision on The Team That Must Not Be Named. Networks, both local and national, are going to have to provide some direction" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/20).
WHAT ULTIMATELY COULD BRING CHANGE: Wall Street Journal Sports Editor Geoff Foster said of the Redskins name, "The only thing that’s really going to make them change the name is if serious financial implications come into play. If a company like FedEx, who sponsors the Redskins field, says ‘We're going to revoke that sponsorship until you change your name.’ Or (if) they lose their trademark which is currently in the appeals process. If they lose their merchandise, they start losing money, the league starts losing money. Then they might change the name” (“CBS This Morning,” 7/19).