Bob Costas On Redskins Name: “It's an Insult”

Veteran commentator addresses name, logo controversy.

Bob Costas is on the record about the Washington Redskins' long-standing moniker: the name is offensive to him.

The veteran commentator addressed the controversy over the Redskins' name and logo Sunday night during his traditional halftime segment on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

"It's an insult, a slur," Costas told viewers during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game in Arlington, Texas.

Costas argued that other comparable professional franchise names like the Atlanta Braves, Golden State Warriors and Kansas City Chiefs honor a cultural heritage or exemplify a notable character trait. The name "Redskins" demeans Native Americans, he said.

And while other team names like the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida State Seminoles can be portrayed as controversial, the logos are "appropriately respectful," according to Costas.

The issue arose again after Redskins owner Daniel Snyder defended the use of the team's name in a letter to fans on Oct. 9.

"After 81 years, the team name 'Redskins' continues to hold the memories and meanings of where we came from, who we are and who we want to be in the years to come," Snyder said in the letter.

He said the name was "never a label" but has instead been a "badge of honor."

The NCAA hit the issue head on in 2005 when they compiled a list of eight schools with Native American mascot names that they deemed offensive. Arkansas State University responded to public discontent over their team name by changing their name from the Indians to the Red Wolves in 2008. The North Dakota state legislature enacted a law banning the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux from changing the team name and its Native American logo. But voters eventually repealed the ban in a 2012 ballot measure.

Costas, meanwhile, implored viewers to think about how other ethnic minorities might be portrayed when considering the Redskins issue.

"Ask yourself what the equivalent would be to African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic group," he said.

The Oneida Indian Nation is pushing for the Redskins to change the team name and NFL officials have agreed to meet with the Indian tribe Nov. 22, NBC Washington reported.

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