NBC's Bob Costas on 'Redskins' Nickname: 'It's An Insult, A Slur'

NBC sports anchor Bob Costas says the Washington Redskins' nickname is "an insult, a slur" during the Redskins game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Oct 14 2013, 3:08am CDT | by

NBC's Bob Costas on 'Redskins' Nickname: 'It's An Insult, A Slur'
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NBC sports anchor Bob Costas has joined those who are against the Washington Redskins' nickname.

According to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post, Costas "asked viewers to consider equivalent terms about other ethnic minorities" during halftime of the game. 

Steinberg also points out that scrutiny over the controversial nickname has increased significantly after President Barack Obama was interviewed by the Associated Press.

In the said interview, President Obama said,"If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team -- even if it had a storied history -- that was offending a sizeable group of people, I'd think about changing it."

Since NBC Sunday Night Football has been averaging 22.6 million viewers, Steinberg emphasizes "Costas' commentary put the topic in front of perhaps its biggest audience yet."  

Here is an excerpt of Costas' comments, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab:

"Objections to names like 'Braves,' 'Chiefs,' 'Warriors' and the like strike many of us as political correctness run amok. These nicknames honor, rather than demean. They are pretty much the same as 'Vikings,' 'Patriots' or even 'Cowboys.' 

"And names like 'Blackhawks,' 'Seminoles,' and 'Chippewas,' while potentially more problematic, can still be okay provided the symbols are appropriately respectful -- which is where the Cleveland Indians with the combination of their name and 'Chief Wahoo' logo have sometimes run into trouble.

"Still, the NFL franchise that represents the nation's capital has maintained its name. But think for a moment about the term 'Redskins,' and how it truly differs from all the others. Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or members of any other ethnic group.

"When considered that way, 'Redskins' can't possibly honor an heritage, or noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. 

"It's an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent. It is fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended. But, if you take a step back, isn't it clear to see how offense 'might' legitimately be taken?"

For his part, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder broke his silence regarding the matter by sending out thousands of e-mails to thousands of the team's fans last week. 

Mere hours after Snyder's mass e-mail was received, Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter wrote a response. He emphasizes Snyder forgot to consider that the Redskins' original owner "was an avowed segragationist." 

Halbritter also personally invited Snyder to meet with the Oneida Nation families and "hear directly from them why that term is so painful." 




Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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