Several notable NFL broadcasters have declared that they’ll no longer use the term “Redskins” while discussing the team on the air, whether it be in the studio or during live games, while several others have at least hinted that they’ll curtail or stop using the name.
We’ve put together a list right here.
Prior to the season, that had me wondering a) if those on the record would stick to their guns, b) if the buzz regarding such declarations might subliminally cause others to avoid using the epithet during broadcasts, and c) how many others would stop using the word without announcing those intentions.
It’s beginning to look as though all three phenomena are taking place.
We examined scripts of NFL broadcasts for the first two weeks of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In 2013 season “Redskins” was said 186 times and “Washington” was said 156 times. In 2014, “Redskins” was said 67 times and “Washington” was said 169 times.
In 2013 “Redskins” was said almost 20 percent more often than “Washington.” But in 2014, “Washington” was said more than two and a half times as often as “Redskins.” So when the team is mentioned, announcers are deferring to “Washington” more often.
Small sample size, but large enough — in my opinion — to draw conclusions.
Also notable is that Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms — both of whom have voiced their opposition to the name — haven’t called any Redskins games yet. Thom Brennaman, David Diehl and Laura Okmin worked their Week 1 matchup with Houston on FOX, while Spero Dedes and Steve Tasker called their Week 2 matchup with Jacksonville on CBS.
Things get a little more interesting this week against the Eagles, because FOX’s top crew — Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews — is calling it. Aikman has stated that he’ll continue to use the word “as long as their nickname is the Redskins,” but we haven’t heard much from Buck or Andrews on the topic. We doubt that crew will make a scene by dodging the name deliberately, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they were to subconsciously cool it on the word.