Should the Washington Redskins football team change their name? NBC’s Bob Costas weighed in on the debate, calling the name a “slur” during halftime on “Sunday Night Football.”


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Tonight on The O’Reilly Factor, Charles Krauthammer and Bill O’Reilly discussed the controversy. O’Reilly explained, “[The term] came from Newfoundland, Canada. […] When the settlers came over, they were warring with the Indians up there who used red paint. That was a ritual before they fought. So therefore, the word redskins meant Indian fighters.”

O’Reilly said that our politically correct society is going after redskins based on the false notion that it refers to pigmentation.

Krauthammer reacted, “I don’t like being lectured by sportscasters, I don’t like the president instructing me on ethnic etiquette, and I don’t like the chief of tribes playing the race card and implying you’re a racist if you use it.”


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He believes that people who refer to the football team as the Redskins are not using it with malice. “But I believe that words change over time. […] 50 years ago the word Negro was the most respected word you could use for an African American. The ‘I Have A Dream’ speech uses the word 15 times. […] The word today implies a patronizing attitude.”

“That’s the point I want to make about Redskins,” Krauthammer said. “It’s got an 80-year history, but in 80 years the meaning of the word changes.”

O’Reilly argued that a majority of Native Americans are not speaking out against the usage. Krauthammer countered, “If I were to ask you how many Indian Americans or Native Americans are in the Congress, you would not say there are two redskins. […] Regardless of your intent, you wouldn’t use the word.”

“You don’t want to deliberately associate somebody or a group with something negative,” Krauthammer said.


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