By Ken Reed
John Banzhaf, a public interest law professor at George Washington University, is campaigning to force Dan Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington D.C. franchise, to change the team’s racist and derogatory name. Banzhaf is focusing on utilizing broadcasting law as the primary tool to force Snyder to change his team’s name. However, he’s also running a powerful public relations campaign against Snyder and his NFL franchise.
This past weekend Banzhaf publicly wondered why Snyder isn’t dealt with a manner similar to Paula Deen, the author and cooking show host who was fired last week by the Food Network for admitting she used the N-word previously in her life.
In a press release, Banzhaf wrote, “Celebrity chef Paula Deen admits that she used the word N*ggers ‘a very long time’ ago in strictly private conversations, and she, like so many others, is immediately banned from broadcasting, but team owner Dan Snyder is not only responsible for the repeated use of the word ‘Redskins’ on hundreds of radio and TV stations, but is so proud of it that he publicly vows he will ‘NEVER’ change the team’s name. Why? What’s different?”
Those are two very good questions.
Banzhaf points out that Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Don Imus, Juan Williams, Pat Buchanon, and others, have been suspended or fired for their use of racial slurs, yet Snyder is, for the most part, treated with kid gloves.
“… Snyder is proud to continue using a word which three judges found to be ‘a derogatory term of reference for Native Americans’ and tends to bring them ‘into contempt or disrepute’; which the D.C. Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments condemned as ‘demeaning and dehumanizing’; which both chairmen of the Congressional Native American Caucus, and other members of Congress, blasted as ‘offensive epithets, disparaging to Native Americans,’ and ‘racial slurs’; which several states have found too offensive to be permitted to be used on personalized vehicle license plates; and which has been denounced and condemned as the most racist of all terms relating to Indians … by dozens of leading organizations representing American Indians,” wrote Banzhaf.
Snyder has certainly dug in his heels by saying he’ll “never” change is NFL team’s name. But his statements and actions have only served to increase the pressure on him.
Washington’s NFL franchise will eventually be known by a different name. And Banzhaf’s work on this issue will help ensure that change takes place sooner rather than later.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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