Greg Gumbel hasn’t said the Redskins name on air in three years



There’s a current movement of NFL on-air personalities away from using of the name “Redskins,” and Greg Gumbel has been ahead of that curve for a few years.

“I was just telling our PR Department I haven’t said the name on the air in three years, I just didn’t feel the need to call a news conference and announce it. It’s just my personal choice,” Gumbel told me during our exclusive chat at CBS/NFL Network Media Day. The CBS play-by-play man then rhetorically asked “would I feel differently if I owned the team?

“I don’t know, but I do feel there’s a PR gap to jump, and whether they will make that jump or not remains to be seen.”

You can hear the entire conversation below in this podcast, the Redskins name change discussion begins at the 5:24 mark.

Half of CBS’ lead announce team, Phil Simms, revealed Monday, at this very same event, that he will probably not use the Redskins name this year. James Brown, the face of the network’s NFL Today pre-game show said about a month ago that he believes the Redskins name should be changed, and Tony Dungy, who does pre and post NFL for NBC, has the same stance.

Like Simms, Dungy believes he won’t use the name on air this season at all. Greg Gumbel said he asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about this issue during their meeting that same morning, and Goodell spoke favorably of the effort Daniel Snyder has made on this issue, visiting 26 different Indian reservations to gather feeedback.

Gumbel says that Goodell claimed the reception was mostly positive.


Gumbel asked the commissioner about this topic because he is wondering when the Redskins name debate will become a league issue, not just a matter of the Washington franchise.

“He said there’s no way of knowing, but it’s one of those things that bears watching,” Gumbel said.

Gumbel doesn’t use the name because of his personal choice, the President of CBS reiterated that morning that they will let each announcer decide for themselves whether to use the name or not. Corporate will not attempt to impose any social mores on their talent.

Greg Gumbel is definitely someone who sees both sides of this issue.  You should listen to the entire podcast to hear all of his thoughts. I asked him when we might see a mascot name change in D.C.

“I don’t know if there will be, there may not be. There are people who may live with it, just as there are people who find it offensive, there are people who don’t find it offensive, whether it’s because they’re used to it or not I don’t know. But the fact is, you got to have enough people finding it offensive in order to engineer a change.”

More exclusive interviews from NFL on CBS/NFL Network Media Day:

Greg Gumbel

Jenny Dell

Boomer Esiason

Deion Sanders

Steve Mariucci

Michael Irvin

Paul M. Banks owns and operates The Sports, which is partnered with Fox SportsYahoo! and the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He’s been a guest on news talk shows all across the world and been featured in hundreds of media outlets including NFL Network, Fox Sports 1 and ESPN2. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks).

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports and Yahoo! He’s been a guest on news talk shows all across the world. He’s also a special contributor to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Banks has been featured in numerous media outlets including, Forbes, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, ESPNNBCCBS, the History Channel and more. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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    All these individuals against the use of the REDSKINS name are all hypocrites, they do commentary, officiate games, interview players with criminal records, child support scaflows, wife beaters and in some cases suspected of murder.

    Please give me a braak

  2. When a school or sports team chooses a mascot, they choose something they can point to as a source of pride and honor. The Redskins mascot signifies courage, bravery and strength, all things that our Native American people can be very proud of. I’ve never felt like Greg Gumbel represents the average American sports fan well anyway but it’s too bad that his “we’ve got to make someone feel bad about something” attitude is spreading to the other sportcasters as well.

  3. PackerFan2 says:

    These people are paid as sports reporters and that is it. They shouldn’t be allowed to bring their personal feelings about a name on the air. They are paid to report and that is it! The original owners of the REDSKINS came up with the name out of pride, not hatred. My alma mater had to change it’s mascot back in the early 90’s because of this. The complaint didn’t come from the local tribe, it didn’t even come from someone that even attended the university, just someone the ACLU got on their side and raised an issue out of it, and the sheep followed. The REDSKINS are a big part of football history, we should honor that history. Are tall people being offended about the NY GIANTS?

  4. creatureofhabit says:

    What’s next, change “Saints” because non-Catholics are offended. What about the LSU Tigers? Seems harmless, but they were named for the Louisiana Tiger regiment that fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Clearly that has to be changed, right? I could find dozens of others.

    It’s all just utterly ridiculous.

  5. memyselfandi says:

    Greg Who? Oh yeah..I remember that guy. Go REDSKINS!!

  6. memyselfandi says:

    and yes..we better change The Yankees, The Braves, The Saints, The Chiefs, The Packers (Definitely offensive to gay people), The INDIANS!, The blackhawks and the Devils.

  7. David Cline says:

    Who is Greg Gumball?

  8. LiberalsRCommies says:

    Maybe not but I bet you’ve said the word “Redneck”, “White trash”, ” Euro trash” Trailer Trash” and probably many more.
    SO whats the difference? Are we going to hamstring ourselves verbally every time we are faced with some politically correct idiot that has nothing better to do with their time than to make the rest of us miserable?

  9. It is easy to jump on the bandwagon when it appears to be the politically correct thing to do and you think it makes you “look” better in some of the public’s eye. What is getting lost in all of this is CBS typically doesn’t carry REDSKIN games unless they are playing an AFC opponent. In those cases, it is 50-50 which network covers the game, FOX or CBS. So to say these announcers (Gumbel, Simms, Dungy) aren’t going to say the REDSKINS name isn’t that much of a stretch.

  10. I have been a Redskins fan since the 70’s and I despise all these self righteous idiots sounding off like stupid ass saints. Just shut the @#$%&! up and announce the game. I do not give a rats ass about your personal views. Gumbel, Dungy ,Simms and whoever else can nurse my #@!&%*.

  11. I have been a diehard Redskins fan since the 70’s and I LOATHE all these self righteous assholes acting like they are so sympathetic to Native Americans suddenly. Dungy, Simms, and Gumble you can kiss my whole entire it rhymes with grass. Just shut the @$#!&^* up and announce the game and keep your personal views to yourself you are not that good that I will not watch another network.

  12. Actually I suspect there are lot of words Gumball hasn’t used over the past three years . . .probably because he doesn’t know what they mean. I wonder if CBS will ever return to the days of Summerall, Madden, Brookshier, et al, and spare us the inanities of Simms, Gumball, etc.

  13. Spend YOUR millions to buy an NFL team and name them any doggone thing you want to.
    Sadly , there is a class of narrow minded individuals in this country , who seemingly ALWAYS want some American iconic entity to complain about, and gripe about. Even to the point of calling in professional charlatan, muck rakers to help them foment trouble and unrest.
    Have an unusual evemt occur, and they circle in like scavengers..

  14. Mr. Football says:

    I haven’t said the name ‘Greg Gumbel’ in 6 years, so there!
    And I probably won’t ever say it again, unless I am involved in a discussion about self-righteous, arrogant, worthless sportscasters. In that situation, I can see how his name might come up.

  15. Now here’s the rest of the story.

    Why after all these years,would this issue come about?I see nothing wrong at all about the name (REDSKINS.)As memyselfandi say’s,let’s get stupid and chang all the names that he list’s,which would be pure unadulterated bullshit.As far as the announcers go,let them believe what they want to believe.

    Page Two!

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