TV: Will the DC NFL Team Name Be Benched?

TV: Will the DC NFL Team Name Be Benched?

Sportscasters Tony Dungy, Phil Simms, Tom Jackson, and Lisa Salters won’t use the racist, derogatory name of DC’s NFL team. Neither will ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak, who comes from the DC area. But what if the FCC rules that name cannot be uttered over the public airwaves?

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says he finds the name “offensive and derogatory” and believes it should be changed. He hopes DC team owner Dan Snyder will come to his senses and change the name voluntarily.

But former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and former Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson are urging the FCC to make an indecency case against broadcasters who use the name on the air.

And Dan Snyder is a broadcast licensee himself. He owns seven radio stations and syndicates his team’s game broadcasts to 30 stations. The syndicate bears the offensive name. The license renewal for Snyder-owned WWXX-FM is pending, and GWU Law professor John Banzhaf has challenged it on grounds of indecency.

Other FCC regulatory measures are possible, including hefty fines for licensed broadcast outlets using the DC team’s name. The R-Word would officially join George Carlin’s 7 Words You Can’t Say on TV. You youngsters can Google that.

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