Native Americans push FCC to cut radio station of Redskins owner

Three Native Americans, including a radio host, filed petitions with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday urging the agency to reject the broadcast license renewal for a radio station owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder. 

The petitions argue that the license for sports radio station WWXX-FM should not be renewed because it is operating against the public interest by repeatedly using the term “Redskins,” which they call “hate speech” and a “fighting word” that has no constitutional protection. 

{mosads}”All of the petitions allege that the repeated and unnecessary use of the word on the air is not consistent with the station’s legal obligation to operate in the public interest,” the petitioners said in a statement.

The petitions add to the push from George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf to get the station taken off the air for the excessive use of what they call the derogatory term “Redskins.”

The three petitions came from Jay Winter Nightwolf, a radio host, and two producers, Louis Ramon Grimaldi and Verona Iriarte. 

Banzhaf filed his own petition last month. He said the new petitions add weight to his argument and guard against complains that he lacks standing.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he personally finds the term Redskins offensive but that his view does not indicate how the commission will rule. 

The petitions allege the radio station uses the term “Redskins” more than 100 times per hour at some points, comparing it to separate slurs against black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish people. 

Banzhaf said the FCC could likely ban the word from the airwaves, but said he is only looking to prevent the station from getting its license renewed. 

He also said he expects forthcoming petitions against the radio station and one against a television license renewal in Los Angeles.

The push for the professional football team to change its name has increased. Nearly every Democratic senator earlier this year signed a letter to the NFL calling for it to force the name change. The U.S. Patent and Trademark office also ruled to cancel a number of the team’s trademarks. 

Snyder has said he has no intention of changing the name and that it is meant to portray a positive and respectful image.

Tags Federal Communications Commission Redskins

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