Coalition for Green Capital’s CEO, Reed Hundt, wrote a Washington Post op-ed today regarding a letter he released to Washington football team owner Dan Snyder requesting that he change the “archaic and racially stereotyped name” of the team. The letter was co-signed by a bi-partisan group of other former FCC officials.
The letter points out that the current name is the most derogatory name a Native American can be called, as the term originated with bounty hunters who received government payments for delivering dead bodies of Native Americans. The former officials note that it is inappropriate for broadcasters to use such ethnic slurs as part of normal, everyday reporting. In the same way, they argue, it is inappropriate to have football broadcasts continually use an ethnic slur as it insults part of the population and desensitizes the rest of the population to that harm.
Noting the central role that Washington D.C. should play in uniting all Americans, the letter further notes that it “is especially unseemly for our nation’s capital to be represented by a football team whose name and mascot keep alive the spirit of inhumanity, subjugation and genocide that nearly wiped out the Native American population.”
The letter concludes by asking Mr. Snyder to “exercise leadership by changing the team’s name so that it promotes an image that positively reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity and mutual respect that defines our great Nation.”