‘Face the Nation,’ ‘This Week’ discuss ‘Redskins’

October 7, 2013

(Via AP)

I know, I know, I know, but when national news programs are discussing the Redskins, it just seems impossible to ignore.

I noted earlier that “Meet the Press” ran a piece on the Redskins name issue Sunday morning, which led into a brief panel discussion filled with one-liners and laughter. Turns out that wasn’t the only national Sunday morning show that tackled the issue on Sunday.

Both ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’s “Face the Nation” also held panel discussions on the Redskins topic, prompted by President Obama’s recent remarks to the AP.

This Week, first.

George Stephanopoulos: One other subject before we go. The president, in that AP interview, also weighing in on this whole controversy over what the Washington Redskins should be called. A lot of sports writers no longer use the term. The Chairman of the NFL, Roger Goodell, said perhaps the Redskins should take a look at it….Cokie, you’re a season ticket holder, right?

Cokie Roberts: I am.

(LAUGHTER)

Unidentified: How’s the season going?

Roberts: My big objection is, they lose. But look, we wouldn’t call a team the Yellowskins or the Brownskins. It would be absolutely unacceptable. And if people who are Native American are offended by it, we should pay attention to that. But basically, they need to start winning.

Soledad O’Brien: The way to gauge if it’s offensive enough, right, is to walk into a bar full of Native Americans and yell out, Redskins! Here’s what’s going to happen, you’re going to be beaten up, to near death. Right? So it’s offensive.

Stephanopoulos: You know, the owner of the Redskins, his attorney, Lanny Davis, keeps citing a poll that says 9 out of 10 Native Americans weren’t offended by it.

O’Brien: And they poll all Americans, and also overwhelmingly [they're] also not offended. The bottom line is, I think that if you actually did that test, and walked into a bar and said that, you would find that people have strong opinions on it. And you can’t just say, well, it’s been a long time. Or listen, it’s being shouted with joy and pride. The people who are offended are offended. I think that matters.

Stephanopoulos: I don’t think I’m going to take your test.

(LAUGHTER)

Jonathan Karl: Yeah, I won’t try that either.

(LAUGHTER)

Karl: But as a Dallas Cowboys fan I hope they change the name….

Roberts: Boo.

Karl: I am happy to give a lot of suggestions. But look, if it’s offensive — and it clearly is offensive to a group of people — I mean, you’ve got to look at changing the name.

Stephanoupolos: Do you think, you know, so many people weighing in Steve Rattner, but Dan Snyder, the owner of the Redskins, is pretty much holding firm even though he’s getting all kinds….

Roberts: Never.

O’Brien: Money. Money. Money.

Steve Rattner: Dan Snyder’s a very tough guy. But it might be a little bit like John Boehner — you hang tough until you can’t anymore. The name that’s available that crossed my mind is the old baseball name, the Washington Senators. But that might be even more…

(LAUGHTER)

Paul Gigot: It’d be one thing to change it from Redskins. You’d offend a lot of people, paying customers, just by that. But then to name it after politicians? I mean, they boo politicians when they throw out the first pitch, and deservedly so. And as for the president weighing in, I mean, obviously people want to know what he would say. But I would say that right now, he’s got a day job he should pay attention to, where he’s not really managing it all that well.

Stephanoupolos: Well, he was asked the question.

Gigot: Yeah, well, thanks for the advice sir, how about your own problem?

Stephanoupolos: I think the bigger problem these days might be the word Washington in front of it.

O’Brien: Right. You could change that too.

(LAUGHTER)

Stephanoupolos: That’s not going to change anytime soon.

SO MUCH (LAUGHTER)! SO FUNNY!

Now, Face the Nation.

Bob Schieffer: I want to play something here. I almost forgot about this. The president was asked during an interview if he thought the Washington Redskins….

(LAUGHTER)

…ought to change their name. And here’s what he said.

Obama: You know, I don’t think there are any Redskins fans that mean offense. I’ve got to say, if I were the owner of the team, and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history — that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it.

Schieffer: What’s your reaction to that?

Gwen Ifill: I don’t cover sports, so I can say…

(LAUGHTER)

Ifill: That I call it the Washington football team. I don’t use the name anymore, because I think it’s unnecessarily offense, and what’s the point? I have a lot of friends who are big Washington football team fans, who are not happy with me about this. But I — I just don’t understand what the point is. I know it’s a nickname. What’s the point?

Schieffer: What about you, Dana?

Dana Milbank: Needless to say, he’s on the front page of my newspaper with those remarks this morning. I think it’s a fine point, that the president should not be making in the middle of a crisis.

Ifill: Well, it was the last question in an interview…

(CROSSTALK)

Jim VandeHei: As long as the Packers remain the Packers and beat the Redskins every year, I’m a happy man.

(LAUGHTER)

OH MAN THE LAUGHTER IS SO LAUGHY.

Note: No one ever write up a transcript of Post Sports Live: Or, if you do, substitute “LAUGHTER” with “EXAGGERATED EYE ROLL, DISGUSTED HEAD SHAKE.”

Thanks.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | October 7, 2013