NBC announcer Bob Costas insisted that there is a “reasoned objection” to the Redskins name.
Appearing on ESPN’s Outside the Lines special on the team’s name this week, Costas admitted, along with host Bob Ley, that the name-change issue has been bit of a “media cause célèbre” and defended his halftime commentary on the nickname last year. Costas said that such opining “during the play-by-play” would not be appropriate and would distract and annoy fans.
He said that those who oppose a name change believe that all in favor of it “are motivated by political correctness.”
“For many of us, that has nothing to do with it,” Costas claimed before railing against political correctness that “gets in the way of honest and fair debate” and “imposes of kind of orthodoxy that isn’t healthy.”
Costas, though, said “distinctions need to be made” and “Redskins is a dictionary-defined slur and insult. Not by one dictionary, but by every one that I have consulted. Term of disparagement. Pejorative. Insulting. Offensive. A slur.” He said none of those terms are ever applied to names like the Braves, Chiefs, and Warriors, and emphasized that “objections to those nicknames,” unless it is due to “blatantly insulting symbols,” would be “actual political correctness gone amok.”
Chris Cooley, a former Washington Redskins player who hosts a radio show for Snyder, said opponents of a name change are intimidated by the media because “nobody wants to be called racist.” He said he has visited Native Americans on numerous reservations and the Native Americans he talked to did not say “Redskins” offended them and viewed the name and team with pride.