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SBD/August 19, 2014/Media
Phil Simms, Tony Dungy Announce They Plan Not To Use Redskins Nickname
Published August 19, 2014
REBEL WITH A CAUSE: ESPN's Jason Whitlock said Simms' stance has "put a lot of pressure on the rest of us that cover and talk about football and other broadcasters." As the top game analyst for CBS, if Simms "sets the standard that he will not call the Redskins the Redskins and will call them Washington, it puts pressure on all of us and all broadcasting teams and I think it's good pressure." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "Phil Simms did something that not many people in this business have or demonstrated often: guts. ... Whether Phil does it or not, the fact that he's given this serious thought, that he's willing to come out and talk about it publicly, a standing ovation as far as I'm concerned." Wilbon added, "Our bosses don't want it to be done. The NFL doesn't want it to be done. So good for Phil Simms, who is a big enough person and has enough stature to say, 'I may do this. What are you going to do to me now?'" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/18). In N.Y., Bob Raissman cites a source as saying, "If Phil Simms is thinking about not going there, don't you think other NFL analysts, who think the name is racist, will follow him? He is influential." Raissman writes that has "everything to do with the respect and stature Simms ... has in the business." If he decides not to use the name "others could feel it's safe to follow" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/19). ESPN's Keith Olbermann said it "looks like the tipping point in the battle" to change the team's name. Olbermann: "Television still dictates sports perception and the fact that if Phil Simms and a bunch of the rest of us conspicuously won't say the name, it will fade both in popularity and in economic value, and right quick. ... Touchdown, Phil Simms" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 8/18). In L.A., Chuck Schilken writes Simms "isn't really taking a stance." But if he chooses "not to say the word so many people don't want to be used, isn't that at least a small victory for its opponents?" (L.A. TIMES, 8/19).