“Redskins” Not Profane, FCC Rules

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CBS News – Saying the word “Redskins” on the air isn’t obscene or profane – at least not according to the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC on Thursday dismissed a petition that called for one of the team’s flagship radio stations not to have its license renewed. The petition claimed repeated use of the word “Redskins” violates rules against indecent content.

But the FCC said that the law defines profanity as sexual or excretory in nature – meanings that don’t relate to the name of the football team.

Many Native American and other groups consider “Redskins” to be a racial slur and have demanded that owner Dan Snyder change the name. Snyder says he’ll never change the name, and he has the official backing of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Thursday’s ruling affects the Snyder-owned station WWXX-FM.

When the U.S. Patent office cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registration in June, saying the longtime nickname insults Native Americans, the Redskins said they would fight the federal ruling against the team’s controversial name and logo.

CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford reportedthat the legal battle could take years and even if the team eventually lost, trademark law experts say it has other legal avenues to keep people from selling unlicensed merchandise.

“I would not take this as a green light to go out there and start printing fake Redskins jerseys and selling them,” trademark attorney Howard Hogan said.

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