"Redskins" Mentions Down 27% On NFL Game Broadcasts In 2014

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NFL announcers said the word "Redskins" 472 fewer times this regular season than in 2013, a decrease of 27%. We expected the Washington nickname controversy to impact how announcers called games, but not to this degree; in fact, yesterday's slate of broadcasts only found "Redskins" being mentioned 13 times.

That's mostly because Fox's announcers for Sunday's Dallas-Washington game, Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch, went above and beyond to avoid saying the slur; closed captioning recognized only three "Redskins" from Burkhardt and a single one from Lynch. (The other mentions were by broadcasters calling other games.) Yesterday was the only time this season that broadcast team called a Washington game; they called three games in 2013, averaging 115 "Redskins" mentions per week.


Only three weeks in 2014 found significantly more "Redskins" mentions than the average week in 2013; in two of those weeks, the Washington game was called by Fox's team of Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston. Their average of 143.5 "Redskins" per week was nearly double that of the season as a whole. Only Dick Stockton and Brady Quinn's week six broadcast (130 mentions) came close to that number; one can probably conclude that either Albert or Johnston are pretty firmly in support of the team's nickname.

Here's a graph with the week-by-week breakdowns of how many times "Redskins" was mentioned on-air. National broadcasts are noted; by nature, a team playing during a national broadcast will be mentioned slightly less often than teams playing during the usual Sunday afternoon slate.


As always, the caveat that this data comes from closed captioning; thus, the true numbers for both years are likely a bit higher. Here's the breakdown by week.

Oh, and "Washington" mentions are up slightly, to 1,390 in 2014 from 1,380 in 2013.