Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh has expressed concerns that legendary football coach Mike Ditka will be fired by ESPN following his attack on the "liberals" who want to change the Washington Redskins name.
During an interview, the former Chicago Bears coach and ESPN analyst had said he was appalled that politically correct "idiots" believe the NFL team's name is a racial slur offensive to Native Americans.
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On his radio show Wednesday, Limbaugh defended Ditka
while criticizing CBS Sports broadcaster Phil Simms and NBC Sports analyst Tony Dungy for planning to refrain from using the word Redskins during games.
"Yesterday, I happened to pass on to you the information that Phil Simms (who used to be conservative) and Tony Dungy have decided they are not going to use the word Redskins during NFL telecasts this fall. They're just gonna call them 'Washington' during the whole game.
"Well, the Hall of Fame has a very outspoken member by the name of Mike Ditka who still works at ESPN but probably not for long. During a discussion about this 'need' to change the name of the Redskins, Mike Ditka unloaded."
Limbaugh then played the audio of Ditka's interview with RedskinsHistorian.com, during which he urged Redskins owner Dan Snyder to keep the name.
"This is so stupid it's appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins," Ditka said.
On his show, Limbaugh blasted the liberal media for manufacturing the controversy with the result that "supposedly millions of people are all of a sudden offended."
"Ditka is speaking up for traditionalists who know that when the Redskins were named the Redskins, there was no intent whatsoever to insult," Limbaugh said. "There's a myth here that this nation is fed up with the name Washington Redskins. There's a myth that everybody wants it changed. None of that's true.
"We're dealing with a politically correct minority intent on having their way, and Ditka is just speaking up for people who say, 'There's no real issue here. Nobody's really upset. There's more important stuff going on. Leave it alone!' Hope the owner hangs in there."
Limbaugh added, "Anyway, [Ditka] works at ESPN, but I don't know ... I mean once this gets out, he's at least gotta be suspended."
Last week Simms and Dungy
said they will not use the Redskins moniker during games, and instead they will just say "Washington."
In June, NBC Sports play-by-play announcer Al Michaels
said that the heated debate over the Redskins was "nuts."
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And although he didn't indicate whether he thought the name should be changed or not, Michaels said he had spoken to Snyder, who told him that a name change would occur "over my dead body."
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