Pop Minute

Home    Photos    Videos    What's on TV Tonight

Bob Costas Weighs In On Redskins' Name: 'It's An Insult, A Slur'

Bob Costas weighed in on the controversy over the Washington Redskins' name during his halftime broadcast on NBC's 'Sunday Night Football'.

Redksins owner Dan Snyder has refused to ever change the team's name despite protests from some Native American groups.

"There is no reason to believe that owner Daniel Snyder, or any official or player from his team, harbors animus toward Native Americans or wishes to disrespect them," began Costas.

He noted that a majority of Native Americans say they're not offended by the name and ran down other Native American-inspired team names found in sports including the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs.

"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."

"A number of teams, mostly in the college ranks, have changed their names in response to objections... 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," he said.

"When considered that way, Redskins can't possibly honor a 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?"

Costas was criticized on Monday for weighing in on what some called a "social issue."

"Nonsenseónonsense," he said on Dan Patrick's radio show. "Dan, I'm surprised. This is so obvious. No, it's a football issue. It's right there. It's a football issue."

"People say lots of stuff. And I'm not comparing this in importance, or comparing myself to any of those who crusaded for a worthy causeóbut I'm sure that people said if someone wrote in a New York newspaper in 1947, or prior to that, saying it's wrong that there are not black players in Major League Baseball, they said stick to sports."

"There are people that are gonna say that. But very often, sports inevitably has intersected with issues that appear, to some extent, to be outside the field. And on some occasions, sports has actually been the best vehicle for discussing these issues, because sports cuts across so many demographic lines."

October 15, 2013 |

Related Posts
  Mike Tirico To Replace Bob Costas as NBC's Olympics Coverage Host
  Bob Costas Calls ESPN's Courage Award For Caitlyn Jenner 'Crass Exploitation Play'
  Bob Costas Explains Why He Got A Second Attempt Of His First Pitch
  Bob Costas Defends Mixing Politics With Sports Coverage
  Conan O'Brien Tracks Bob Costas' Eye Infection In Olympic Broadcasts
  Bob Costas: Lack Of Time Made Gun Control Commentary A 'Mistake'
  Bob Costas Takes Heat For Gun Control Opinions On 'Sunday Night Football'
  Bob Costas Mocks NBC's Olympic Coverage: 'Monkey In A Lab Coat'

© Copyright & Privacy Policy Pop Minute. All rights reserved. | Feedback