21 Jan

Sports Business Analyst: FCC Should Leave ‘Redskins’ Alone

The Federal Communications Commission, which appears to be backing away from banning the use of the word “Redskins” in NFL broadcasts, risked opening a “pandora’s box” of restrictions on free speech if it had continued on that course, says sports business analyst and entrepreneur Rick Horrow.

“They need to stay out of it,” the CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures told “MidPoint” host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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Horrow discussed what was another week of unwanted headlines for the besieged NFL.

He said the FCC’s cancellation of the longstanding “blackout rule,” which allowed teams to not broadcast their home games in order to boost attendance at the stadiums, was largely “symbolic.”

Use of the blackout “has been eased over time,” said Horrow. “Today, the practical effect is not that significant” — especially, he said, with the league reaping billions from viewer subscription packages through DirecTV.

Horrow criticized the penalty flag thrown at a Kansas City Chiefs player, Hussain Abdullah, who celebrated a touchdown with a Muslim prayer in the end zone, saying that celebratory gestures are a part of the game.

But in another controversy, over debilitating brain injuries suffered by former players, Horrow said that it is premature to call the league’s conduct a cover-up.

He also said the league and the players still have to settle the issues of responsibility, and compensation, for CTE linked to concussions, and how much “assumption of risk” players are prepared to accept in the future.

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