Lindsay Czarniak on the Redskins: ‘I prefer not to use the name’


Image via ESPN

For years, no D.C. area broadcast network has been as closely associated with the Redskins as WRC. That network’s sports anchors have hosted Redskins weekend programs and coaches shows, have worked the sidelines of Redskins preseason broadcasts, and have even worn Redskins-branded apparel on-air, although that practice eventually stopped.

WRC’s biggest name — Jim Vance — has remained a passionate Redskins fan even as he’s been a consistent critic of the team name. And now one of his most well-known former colleagues — ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak — has staked a similar position. Growing up in Fairfax County in the ’80s, she obviously rooted for the home team. Via Paul Farhi:

Chet Czarniak’s job drew her closer to sports. The elder Czarniak remembers taking his young daughter to a racetrack and lifting her up to pet Sunny’s Halo, winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1983. Both father and daughter recall family outings to Memorial Stadium to watch the Orioles. A treasured family heirloom is the football Chet brought home from a Super Bowl one year, autographed by Doug Williams, the Redskins quarterback.

And yet, via SI.com’s Richard Deitsch, Czarniak’s feelings on the name issue have shifted:

How does she feel about broadcasters using the word “Redskins?”

“Covering the team and cultivating the relationships with the owner, Coach Gibbs, the coaching staff and the players will always be a highlight of my career but I do regret that I wasn’t more sensitive to this topic at the time,” Czarniak said. “A big part of that is because of nostalgia. Even today, one of my six-month old son’s first baby gifts was a Redskins Onesie. I prefer not to use the name. If it is offensive to someone and if we know that, that’s all we need to know.”

Czarniak, Deitsch reported, will “be working as a reporter this season for Sunday NFL Countdown, teaming with either Ron Jaworski or Merrill Hoge from the site of a major 1 p.m. ET game.” Which means her thoughts on using the name might become readily apparent.

(Via @TMM75)

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Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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