NCLR Votes to Urge 'Redskins' Name Change

The board of directors of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Hispanic civil rights advocacy group, has voted unanimously to urge Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the name of the team.

The vote came at the Washington-based group's fall meeting over the weekend.

“Our brothers and sisters in the Native American community have been clear and consistent in their call to change both terms and images that they consider demeaning. As an organization committed to fairness and equality for all, NCLR fully supports these efforts,” said NCLR president and CEO Janet Murguía following the vote.

NCLR has previously teamed with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to push for a change of the name, which some Native Americans find offensive.

“The Latino community well understands that words matter and that they can denigrate, disparage and dehumanize," said Murguía. "We should treat all people with the respect and dignity they deserve."

Snyder has defended the name and has said he has no plans to change it.

The issue has gained traction in Washington of late, spurred in part by a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision not to provide federal protection for Redskins patents, and after some Democratic legislators and FCC commissioners weighed in with their opposition or concerns about the name.

Some sportscasters have chosen to refer to the team as Washington, rather than Redskins, and legal activist John Banzhaf has challenged the license of Snyder's Washington radio station at the FCC, joined by some Native Americans. The Washington Post Editorial Board has also come out against use of the name, at least on the opinion page.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.