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Legal Analysis: FCC Properly Rules in Favor of Redskins

| December 22, 2014

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — There has been much discussion in recent years about the use of the name “Redskins” for the NFL’s Washington franchise and I believe that such discussion is a healthy exercise of free speech.  The propriety of the name “Redskins” was even determined last June to be inappropriate for continued trademark protection because the name disparages a group.   That decision is presently under appeal.

However, one place that the discussion of the propriety of the name had absolutely no business being discussed was at the FCC during the course of an objection to the radio station license renewal application of Washington, DC radio station WWXX-FM.  This radio station is owned by Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL’s Redskins, and is part of the team’s radio network.  An objection was filed by a law professor and others to the license renewal, as was his or anyone else’s right.  However his reasoning was totally spurious as recognized by the FCC which showed a little political testosterone and rightfully rejected all of the professor’s objections and renewed the application of WWXX-FM.

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