Bob Costas: Negative Reaction to Redskins Commentary Only from 'Extreme Fringe'

Bob Costas: Negative Reaction to Redskins Commentary Only from 'Extreme Fringe'

The morning after he used his platform on NBC’s Sunday Night Football program to say the Redskins name was “an insult” and “a slur,” sportscaster Bob Costas said any negative reaction to his comments only comes “from an extreme fringe” even though a national poll found that nearly 80% of Americans wanted the Redskins to keep their name. 

“Well I just woke up, but from what I’ve been able to determine from the NBC people, it’s much more muted than the gun thing, and any negative reaction comes from an extreme fringe,” Costas said on the Dan Patrick Show. “I had much more time this time. The difference, as you know, between one minute and two minutes is much greater in television than the difference between two minutes and three minutes. You have enough time to develop a thought.”

He then said it was “obvious” to him that Redskins was a derogatory name:

“But Redskins, if you take a step back, we’ve become used to it, because it’s been in common usage for so long. But if you take a step back and you think of what the equivalent of Redskins would be if applied to an African American, a Hispanic, an Asian, or any other ethnic group, then you have to start thinking of it a different way. Or put it in these terms: if you were to walk into a gathering of Native Americans — if you were on a reservation or happened to come across a family of Native Americans in a restaurant, and you began conversing with them — would you feel comfortable referring to them as Redskins? Using the term Redskins over and over again? Once you take a step back, it’s very obvious. And that was the point that I was making.”

Costas told Patrick that though he was not “calling for a specific action,” he was “implying it.” 

He then said the controversy surrounding the Redskins name was “not a random political issue” and then said it was “nonsense” that he was using Football Night in America to advance “social causes.”