The Washington Redskins have been the center of controversy for a long time due to their name, which many have described as an offensive moniker for Native Americans. In a letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, former officials of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) echoed that sentiment and said that it's time action is taken to force the team to change the name.
The letter, published on Politico, is penned by former-FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, former-FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson, among others:
"XXXskin is the most derogatory name a Native American can be called. It is an unequivocal racial slur," they write. "As The Washington Post's Mike Wise pointed out, ‘America wouldn't stand for a team called the Blackskins - or the Mandingos, the Brothers, the Yellowskins, insert your ethnic minority here.'"
Hundt also argued in an editorial in the Washington Post that broadcasters should do what they can to force the hand of the team to change their name:
CBS fired Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder in 1988 for making racially derogatory remarks. ESPN - a cable channel, not a broadcasting channel - apologized for remarks that sportscaster Brent Musburger made in January about the girlfriend of the University of Alabama's quarterback.
If broadcasters follow their own tradition, they will insist that Snyder no longer put them in the intolerable position of using a derogatory term to describe his team. So, too, should the FCC applaud broadcasters for pursuing the name change.
The team originated as the Boston Braves in 1932 before changing the name to the Boston Redskins one year later. In 1937, the team relocated to Washington D.C. where they became the Washington Redskins.