Tom Jackson, a longtime NFL analyst for ESPN and former Broncos lineman, said that he may stop using the Redskins name on air. Jackson said it’s hard for him to believe that Native Americans see the name as a term of endearment and respect
Jackson, who was speaking on ESPN Radio Friday morning, said he heard Tony Dungy is going to refuse to use the name and could follow suit.
"I’ve given this a lot of thought," Jackson said, "And my final thought on it was, you know what, I don’t have the right to tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them ... And I don’t think that anybody who’s not Native American can tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them."
The analyst also said it’s hard for him to believe that Native Americans see the name as a term of endearment and respect, and commended former NFL referee Mike Carey for avoiding working Washington games because of his opposition to the name.
"Quite frankly, when I hear Daniel Snyder or I hear the commissioner of the National Football League say that the term is something that they are using to honor Native Americans, if Native Americans feel that way, so be it,” Jackson said. “But if they feel that it’s an insult, then it’s an insult."
Jackson is not the only on-air person who may stop using the name. CBS' Phil Simms said his first thought was to only use the name "Washington" when he calls the team's game versus the Giants on Sept. 25.
However, former Bears coach and current ESPN commentator Mike Ditka recently said the name controversy is "so stupid it's appalling" and that he hopes owner Dan Snyder keeps fighting for it and never changes it.
- Molly Geary