The Washington Post Editorial Board Takes a Stand in the 'Redskins' Name Debate

In 1992, the editorial board of the Washington Post said that the name of Washington D.C.'s local NFL team, the Redskins, was "really pretty offensive." Twenty-two years later, the Post has gone a step further, announcing on Friday that the newspaper will no longer use the "R-word" in its editorial pages. 

It's the latest blow against Washington owner Daniel Snyder, who insists that the nickname "represents honor" and that he will not change the name of his NFL club. This, despite the public censure of prominent Native American groups as well as public figures such as Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. NFL announcer Phil Simms, who will be calling Washington's Week 4 game in September, has already said he will not use the term during the broadcast.

As the National Congress of American Indians illustrated in this powerful ad earlier this year, "Native Americans call themselves many things. ['Redskin' is] the one thing they don't."


In explaining how the Post's editorial board came to its decision, the editors wrote that there should no longer be any excuse to use the name:

"We don't believe that fans who are attached to the name have racist feeling or intent, any more than does Mr. Snyder. But the fact remains: The word is insulting. You would not dream of calling anyone a 'redskin' to his or her face. You wouldn't let your son or daughter use it about a person, even within the privacy of your home."

The newspaper noted that the sports section will continue to use the term. Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before the sportswriters will be getting to use a new nickname entirely.

h/t Washington Post

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

R.J. Rico

R.J. is a sports journalist living in New York. He has written for Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, and The Miami Herald. He studied history at Yale University and is forever drowning in a pile of magazines.

MORE FROM

Philando Castile's family reaches $3 million settlement with Minnesota police

The settlement is the latest in a string of multi-million-dollar payouts that have followed police-involved deaths of African-Americans.

Chance the Rapper demands justice for Chicago at BET Awards, with an assist from Michelle Obama

Two high-profile Chicago natives call for action.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Philando Castile's family reaches $3 million settlement with Minnesota police

The settlement is the latest in a string of multi-million-dollar payouts that have followed police-involved deaths of African-Americans.

Chance the Rapper demands justice for Chicago at BET Awards, with an assist from Michelle Obama

Two high-profile Chicago natives call for action.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.