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WashPost, Others, Blast “Redskins” as "Racist Slur" - NFL Pledges
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 14, 2013): The use of the name “Redskins” is under escalating attack. Recently the WashPost blasted the term name "Redskins” as a "racist slur"; the NFL pledged to take appropriate action, MUCH MORE
# A Washington Post editorial blasted the term name "Redskins” as a "racist slur";
# the NFL pledged to take appropriate action "if we are offending one person with that team name";
# Indians plan a protest at the Packer’s game as a followup to its radio advertising campaign in the DC area;
# the D.C. City Council is reportedly planning to pass a resolution condemning "Redskins" as a racist and derogatory term, and asking local broadcasters not to continue using it;
# legislation is pending in Congress to strip the team of its "Redskin" trademarks;
# publications like Mother Jones, Slate, Kansas City Star, etc. are refusing to use the word, as are sports reporters like SI's Peter King and Grantland emperor Bill Simmons; and
# a team of communications law experts – including a former FCC Chairman, several former commissioners, and others – which has labeled it an "unequivocal racial slur," and likened its use to an "obscenity" which is illegal on the public airwaves in any form, rather than simply an "indecency" which is restricted to certain times of the day, is mulling the use of broadcast law to prevent stations from continuing to use it.
Indeed, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, the very fact that spin master Frank Luntz was hired to do focus groups and surveys regarding the team’s name has led to speculation that a name change is at least being considered, in articles with titles like: “Fan Survey Indicates Redskins Are Considering a Name Change,” “Is Dan Snyder Secretly Maneuvering to Change Redskins Name?,” and “Redskins Recruit GOP Spin Doc to Shop New Name.”
Should the team of communications lawyers oppose the license renewal of a station for repeatedly using a racist and indecent term on the air, especially during prime time when children are listening, it could put even more pressure on Dan Snyder to change the team name.
A license challenge – even if it's not ultimately successful in wrenching away a broadcast license valued at many hundreds of millions of dollar – could irrevocably damage the station's credit rating, prevent it from selling, transferring or trading it, and seriously impair its ability to conduct business as usual, says Banzhaf, who used a similar tactic to successfully attack racism by broadcasters in the 1970.
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
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