Rocker Gene Simmons dropped several racial slurs on-air Thursday on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” to make a point about the sensitivity of the Washington Redskins’ team name.
The KISS frontman, who is himself the owner of a Los Angeles-based Arena Football League team, was asked to weigh in on Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s defense of the team name and used slurs to draw a line at what he considered offensive.
“You know, it really has to do with whether or not the American Indian population has a problem with it because it’s up to them,” he said. “I would not like a sports team called the ‘kikes.’ And if you take the historical point of view — and I’m not the one to validate it or not — if ‘Redskins’ was an insult to American Indians, then absolutely, the team should change its name.”
Co-host Sandra Smith then pointed out that there was a long list of Native Americans who have spoken out against the name. Simmons said he supported them and their “rights to not [have] their name besmirched publicly.” He said he wouldn’t be on board with a team called the “micks,” a derogatory term for the Irish, for example.
“It’s an interesting conversation, because democracy is very messy and you can take any point of view and validate it — as a Boricua yourself, you wouldn’t want a team called the ‘spics,’ or the ‘kikes,’ or the so-and-sos,” he later added, referring to co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is Puerto Rican and Irish.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.