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NBC’s Costas’ halftime rant: Redskins name ‘an insult, a slur’

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Leave our football alone!

That’s the sentiment many sports fans felt when NBC sports commentator Bob Costa shared his liberal views of guns during halftime of a game played following the death of Jovan Belcher, an NFL player who committed suicide in Dec. 2012 after killing his girlfriend.

Nonetheless, Costas again forced his political views on not-so-receptive fans, weighing in Sunday night on the so called controversy around the team name of the Washington Redskins.

Taking a position similar to President Obama, who said names such as “Redskin” offend “a sizable group of people,” Costa said during halftime of Washington’s Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys that the team name is “an insult, a slur.”

“Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed at African-Americans,” Costas opined. “Hispanics. Asians. Or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, ‘Redskins’ can’t possibly honor a heritage, or a noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term.”

“It is an insult, a slur, no matter now benign the present-day intent,” Costas added.

Never mind that team owner Dan Snyder published an open letter to fans in response to Obama’s remarks that dispels the claim:

The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center polled nearly 1,000 self-identified Native Americans from across the continental U.S. and found that 90% of Native Americans did not find the team name “Washington Redskins” to be “offensive.”

In an April 2013 Associated Press survey, 79% of the respondents stated the Washington Redskins should not change their name, while only 1 1% believed the team’s name should change.

Americans love their sports, and football is the undisputed king. Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday in all but name. Games are a wholesome form of entertainment and watching a contest on television is one of the few times we are immune from the trappings of politics.

Until now.

Leave our football alone!

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Tom Tillison


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