Thomas Warren, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Former Federal Communications Commission officials are putting their collective muscle behind a push to have Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder change the team's name.
"Views have evolved about gay marriage. Views have evolved decades ago about interracial marriage. Views have evolved," says Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, and former FCC chairman.
"So, evolution means that we all change. And, it's time for the name of our football team to change."
Hundt, who ran the FCC from 1993 to 1997, joined a group of several former agency officials who signed a letter to Snyder calling for a name change.
According to the letter, the Redskins name aids to "keep alive the spirit of inhumanity, subjugation and genocide that nearly wiped out the Native American population."
Hundt says it's also unfair for the team to force broadcasters to use a racial epithet on air.
"If broadcasters would just say we're going to refer to this as the Washington football club until you give us an acceptable name, I think Mr. Snyder would say, 'I'm looking for a new name,'" Hundt says.
The Redskins response to Hundt's challenge: "No comment."
In February, the team posted a letter on its website saying, "We are very proud of our athletic teams and very proud to be called Redskins!"
Hundt says with Snyder's marketing prowess, he should still be able to turn a handsome profit even if the team is no longer called the Redskins.
"There's a quarter million names to choose from Mr. Snyder," he says. "Pick one that we all would like that doesn't derogate any minority."
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