In what seems like a weekly occurrence these days, Cris Collinsworth managed to upset quite a few people at the tail end of NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecast last night, a game that saw the Washington Football Team clinch the NFC East and a spot in the NFL playoffs with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles
Just as the two teams were walking off the field following what can only be described as an absolute embarrassment of a football game, Collinsworth used Washington’s old team name, the Redskins, and social media went crazy on him. While some defended his use of the name, the vast majority of the posts we saw were taking him to task for using the old name, a name that Collinsworth himself once said he had a difficult time using.
Founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves, the franchise now known as the Washington Football Team changed the team name to Redskins in 1933 and moved to the nation’s capital ahead of the 1937 NFL season.
For decades, people protested the use of the Redskins name, calling it an offensive racial slur toward Native Americans while supporters claimed that the name was intended to show respect.
Current team owner Dan Snyder, who took over controlling interest in the franchise in 1999, vowed he would never change the name but finally gave in last summer as corporate sponsors such as FedEx, Nike, and PepsiCo voiced their respective support of the change.
As the debate over the Redskins name has surrounded the Washington Football Team for decades, it stands to reason that Cris Collinsworth would have given his opinion on the matter at one point or another and that actually came back in 2013 on an episode of Showtime’s Inside the NFL, a show he was a part of for a quarter-century.
Collinsworth had been on the call for a Sunday Night Football matchup between Washington and the Chicago Bears ahead of that particular episode of Inside the NFL and said that while he actually did believe that the Redskins name was created by the franchise to honor Native Americans, he just didn’t feel right saying it anymore (h/t Washington Post).
“I have to admit, as I was watching the game Sunday night and I was saying the word Redskins, in my brain it was coming out red skin. And there was something about that that just didn’t feel right.
“I have a feeling if it were the blackskins, the brownskins, the name would have already been changed.”
But that didn’t stop Cris Collinsworth from saying Redskins on Sunday night.
At the tail end of Sunday night’s NBC broadcast (and perhaps even before then) in which the Washington Football Team defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, Cris Collinsworth let the Redskins name fly but quickly said “sorry,” at which point Al Michaels came back with, “we’ve been good boys most of the night.” Naturally, Twitter exploded.
As mentioned, however, there were some folks out there that completely supported Cris Collinsworth saying Redskins to describe the Washington Football Team.
The Washington Football Team will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round on Saturday night and is one of two games that will air on NBC this weekend. As of this writing, it’s not yet known if Cris Collinsworth will be in the booth for that game or the Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup on Sunday night.