The Washington Post’s editorial board will quit using the name of Washington’s professional football team, it announced in an editorial Friday afternoon.
The editorial board has called for a name change since as far back as 1992, a fact it notes in the editorial explaining its decision today:
“THIS PAGE has for many years urged the local football team to change its name. The term ‘Redskins,’ we wrote in 1992, ‘is really pretty offensive.’ The team owner then, Jack Kent Cooke, disagreed, and the owner now, Daniel M. Snyder, disagrees, too. But the matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves. That’s the standard we apply to all offensive vocabulary, and the team name unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too,” the editorial board wrote, adding that “we’ll do our best not to contribute to the disrespect.”
The editorial board’s decision will not affect the paper’s news or sports reporters and readers can still use the name in letters to the editor, the editorial said.
Still, the editorial board is adding itself to a growing list of outlets and journalists choosing to avoid the name. Other publications, like the San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, The Oregonian, Slate, and the Washington City Paper, avoid the name in both news and opinion writing. Columnists at outlets like USA Today and the Buffalo News, meanwhile, have made individual decisions to avoid it. CBS Sports’ Sean McManus said last month that he would give his broadcasters the option to avoid the name during NFL games this season, and CBS analyst Phil Simms and NBC’s Tony Dungy have both said they plan to quit using the name on air.