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More Media/Celebs Demand "Redskins” Change Racist Name - Controversy Rapidly Spreading Across Country


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2013-09-18 15:57:25 - WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 18, 2013): In addition to two separate ongoing challenges to the "Redskins" trademarks, a possible legal challenge to the broadcasting licenses of stations which use the word during prime time, protests by American Indians at games being played by the team, irate letters from members of Congress, a proposed D.C. City Council resolution condemning the word as racist and asking broadcasters not to use the term, and suggestions in many media outlets that Snyder is already testing the water about changing the name, there are an expanding number of media refusing to use the term, and a growing chorus of famous names speaking out against it.

A partial list of major media refusing to use the racist and derogatory word now include The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Slate, Mother Jones, Today.com, and The Kansas City Star.

The Washington Post went so far as to declare: "the team’s name is a racial slur of Native Americans so offensive that it should no longer be tolerated.”

In addition, the following have recently spoken out on this ever growing controversy, further adding to the pressure for a name change.

MARK MURPHY, a former "Redskins" player and current president and CEO of the Green Bay Packers, said that he agreed with Commissioner Roger Goodell who recently said: “We have to do everything that’s necessary to make sure that we’re

representing the franchise in a positive way . . . and that if we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we’re doing the right things to try to address that.”

Now Murphy – who as athletic director at Colgate University got rid of the "Red" part of the "Red Raiders" name because it was insulting to American Indians – has chimed in, saying:

"That's a decision that ultimately I think it's got to be [owner] Dan Snyder and the commissioner. You probably saw the commissioner did make some comments about how if it is offensive to people he thinks that we need to listen, so I would echo what the commissioner said."

Murphy was also the probable reason why a group of Indians was able to protest the name on property at the stadium owned by the Packers.

JONATHAN BANKS, the actor who plays Mike Ehrmantraut on the hit show Breaking Bad, was even more blunt.
"We gotta change the name, dude. . . . “Even if there are two American Indians out there that don’t want to be called Redskins. We gotta change [it]. Just change the name. . . . Somebody’s offended by it, then change it. . . It’s not that big a deal.”

AMY TRASK, former CEO of the Oakland Raiders, and now a part of CBS-TV's “That Other Pregame Show,” said: "Washington has an opportunity to do something very powerful and very important by changing the team name and logo.” “It’s wrong to use a disparaging slur when referencing any person or any group of people, and the word Redskins has been widely used throughout our history as a derogatory, disparaging slur.”

“Try this! “Substitute for the word Redskins any other derogatory slur and think of that as the team name.” “Changing the team name and logo really can inspire people and encourage people to treat everyone respectfully.” “I do hope the team takes this opportunity to do something very, very special, because it’s just not okay, in my view, to refer to people or any person, by use of a derogatory slur.”

ADAM SCHEIN, who is a co-host with Trask, said: "I agree with every word you said.”

CARSON DALY, a host on NBC's Today Show, reported that the name use has spurred a nationwide debate.

He said that there was “a spike in the interest over the use of the name Washington Redskins” in some parts of the country, prompting NBC to monitor the amount of attention in the topic across the country.

Arizona, Wisconsin, New York, and D.C. were mentioned as top spots for the controversy.

For these reasons, NBC has pledged to continue to monitor the debate, and discuss the controversy more on the air.

Public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who first developed the tactic of using federal broadcast law to attack radio and television stations which repeatedly use a term which is racist and derogatory during prime time, notes that many in the media are suggesting that team owner Dan Snyder may already be considering changing the team’s name.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf


Contact Information:
George Washington University Law School,

2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA

Contact Person:
John Banzhaf
Professor of Public Interest Law
Phone: (202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
email: email

Web: banzhaf.net/



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