The Associated Press is mulling over usage of the term “Redskins” as it relates to the Washington, D.C. football team, but has not decided whether to make a ruling on the controversial word yet.
The topic is of interest to the AP Stylebook committee, which meets weekly between October and March, said AP Stylebook co-editor David Minthorn. The word’s usage is an “active topic” that the stylebook might make a ruling on.
Minthorn fielded the question at the annual American Copy Editors Society gathering in Pittsburgh, where he and Associated Press assistant business editor Philana Patterson were previewing changes to the 2015 edition of the AP Stylebook, which determines the lingua franca for English-language journalists around the world.
A couple of journalists in the audience at Minthorn and Patterson’s session tweeted out news of the AP’s possible ruling on the term:
— Teresa Schmedding (@tschmedding) March 27, 2015
— Larissa Newton (@newton_larissa) March 27, 2015
Several news outlets and journalists (at least 20) have struck the word from their copy amid concerns that it’s offensive to Native Americans. The list includes several prominent D.C.-area news organizations, including Washington City Paper, DCist, The New Republic, Capital News Service and The Washington Post’s editorial board.
The word has also been the subject of a protracted battle between administrators at Neshaminy High School and student journalists there, who voted not to use the term in any of their content.
The word still appears in Associated Press stories. A 2014 poll conducted for ESPN showed that 71 percent of Americans believed the name was acceptable, down 8 percent from a similar poll conducted the previous year.