ESPN analyst Tom Jackson, a former star on the Denver Broncos who has been at the network for 28 years, said on Friday that he may not say “Redskins” on the air.
On Friday’s “Mike and Mike” radio program on ESPN Radio, Jackson told substitute host Chris Carter, who is also an NFL Countdown analyst, that, “I don’t have the right to tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them. I don’t have the right to do that. And I don’t think that anybody’s who’s not Native American can tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them.”
“So quite frankly, when I hear Daniel Snyder or I hear the commissioner of the National Football League say that the term is something that they are using to honor Native Americans, if Native Americans feel that way, so be it,” Jackson continued, according to the Washington Post. “But if they feel that it’s an insult, then it’s an insult. I really commend [former official] Mike Carey for doing what he did. That had to be a difficult thing.”
Carter, without using the word “Redskins,” asked Jackson, “How are we going to go about treating Daniel Snyder and the Washington… in moving forward?”
“Tom is my mentor,” Carter said. “When we have tough subjects, a lot of times I call him or we get together, and I try to figure out a way to attack it. So Tommy, this is new: How are we going to go about treating Daniel Snyder and the Washington … in moving forward?”
Mike Ditka, who also is on NFL Countdown, said that controversy over the Redskins name is “so stupid it’s appalling.” On Saturday, ESPN said its reporters and employees do not have to say “Redskins” if they do not want to on air.