CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus tells the Hollywood Reporter in a lengthy interview that the network will leave it up to their on-air talent whether to say “Redskins” or not on the air. Several major sports journalists, including Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Bill Simmons, vow not to use the Washington, D.C., team’s nickname.
The network primarily broadcasts AFC games on Sunday but their new Thursday Night Football package transcends conference boundaries, airing Giants-Redskins in Week 3. CBS also televises the Redskins in a late-season Saturday game against the Eagles to a national audience. The network will air at least two other Redskins games against AFC teams in select local markets on Sundays.
McManus says about announcers and the controversial team name:
We haven’t talked to them yet. Generally speaking, we do not tell our announcers what to say or not say. Up to this point, it has not been a big issue for us. Last year, it was simmering; now it’s reaching a hotter level. But we probably will not end up dictating to our announcers whether they say Redskins or don’t say Redskins. We leave that up to them and our production team. There are times when something becomes important enough that we talk to them, and between now and the start of football season we’ll decide what is the right thing to do.
McManus didn’t say whether the do-your-own-thing policy applies to the Vikings, Buccaneers, and Saints, or just to the Redskins.
The son of legendary broadcaster Jim McKay also insisted that the concussion controversy hasn’t adversely influenced NFL ratings, offered that he allowed his son to play football, and opined that if college athletes get paid the Crimson Tide quarterback and a volleyball player shouldn’t receive equal salaries.