June 19, 2014

The Seattle Times will no longer print the term “Redskins” when referring to Washington’s football team. “We’re banning the name for one reason: It’s offensive,” sports editor Don Shelton writes. With the decision, The Seattle Times joins a list of other outlets and writers who won’t use the term. (Am I missing anybody? Email me, and I’ll add.)

  • New York Daily News: “No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.” (September 2014)
  • The Washington Post’s editorial board: “[W]e have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves.” (August 2014)
  • Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller: “Folks, you can choose to not read my work if you want. I’m still not using Washington’s team name. End of story.” (July 2014)
  • WTTG-TV anchor/reporter Maureen Umeh
  • The Detroit News: “The Detroit News will no longer use the team’s nickname, ‘Redskins,’ in routine football coverage, reflecting the growing view thatnewmemo the term is offensive to many Americans.” (June 2014)
  • New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden: “I’ve committed to stop using the nickname in public and in private, except in columns addressing the debate.” (June 2014)
  • Orange County Register: “It is the Register’s policy to avoid using such slurs, so we will not use this one, except in stories about the controversy surrounding its use,” sports editor Todd Harmonson said in November 2013.
  • San Francisco Chronicle: “We are not the first media outlet to make this change, and I know we will not be the last,” Managing Editor Audrey Cooper told Poynter last October.
  • Capital News Service: “Starting today, Capital News Service will no longer use the official name of Washington’s NFL franchise, a name many Native Americans, and others, consider a racial slur,” the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland wrote in October (along with a good list of outlets and journalists who spurn the term).
  • Syracuse New Times: “It won’t be used in the Syracuse New Times in stories about the team, about efforts to persuade the team that it should choose a non-offensive nickname or in stories about New York high school teams that use the same name,” Renée K. Gadoua wrote in October.
  • Richmond Free Press: “The name stems from the fact that Native Americans were scalped and butchered and a profit was made from it,” the paper wrote in an editorial last October.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: “The simple reason is that for the last two or three years, I’ve been uneasy when I sat down to write about the team and had to use the nickname,” he wrote last September.
  • Slate: “Changing the way we talk is not political correctness run amok,” Editor David Plotz wrote in August 2013. “It reflects an admirable willingness to acknowledge others who once were barely visible to the dominant culture, and to recognize that something that may seem innocent to you may be painful to others.”
  • The Buffalo News’ Tim Graham: “We must not take for granted anything so harmful to other people,” he wrote in June 2013.
  • Philadelphia Daily News’ John Smallwood: “In practical use, the R-Word is no different from calling an African-American the N-Word, a Jewish person the K-Word, a Hispanic the W-Word, an Irish-American the M-Word, or an Italian American a different W-word,” he wrote in June 2013.
  • Mother Jones: “in an admittedly small gesture, Mother Jones is also tweaking our house style guide,” Ian Gordon wrote in August 2013.
  • The New Republic: “The @davidplotz case against the moniker of DC football team is air-tight,” TNR Editor Franklin Foer tweeted in August 2013.
  • DCist: “This is the least we can do,” Benjamin Freed, then the publication’s editor, wrote in February 2013.
  • Washington City Paper: “Sports teams have names; we just wish this team had a different one,” Editor Mike Madden wrote in 2012. (The paper, which Redskins owner Dan Snyder once sued over an article he didn’t read, now calls the team the “Pigskins.”)
  • The Kansas City Star: “I see no compelling reason for any publisher to reprint an egregiously offensive term as a casual matter of course,” Derek Donovan wrote in 2012.
  • The Oregonian: The policy goes back to 1992, Therese Bottomly wrote in 2012.
Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

More News

Back to News


Comments are closed.