FCC to Consider Punishing Broadcasters that Use Term ‘Redskins’

redskinsFCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the commission is considering a petition filed by GW law professor John Banzhaf III urging it to take away the broadcasting license of WWXX-FM for referring to the Washington NFL team as the “Redskins.”

In August, Banzhaf shared with Broadcasting & Cable several options for having the term removed from broadcast, including a FCC petition to restrict words that are “highly derogatory, racist, and hateful to ethnic and other groups.”

“There are a lot of names and descriptions that were used over time that are inappropriate today,” Wheeler told reporters on Tuesday. “And I think the name that is attributed to the Washington football club is one of those.”

Owner Dan Snyder has vowed not to change the name, a conversation that has gained much attention in Washington and nationally over the past several months.

In August, The Washington Post editorial board announced that it banned the word from its vocabulary. In June, the U.S. Patent Office canceled 6 Redskins football team trademarks after it ruled the those in question were “disparaging to Native Americans,” which Snyder is appealing. And in May, 50 US Senators signed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in support of a name change as many consider it disparaging to Native Americans.