Donovan explained that the word “Redskins” is a “racial epithet, plain and simple,” and noted that despite his opinion that he normally advocates for “publishing a word when it’s the crux of a debate,” in this case, he sides with the newspaper’s policy. He wrote:
“I see no compelling reason for any publisher to reprint an egregiously offensive term as a casual matter of course. As brighter minds than mine have noted, nobody would be surprised if a newspaper or website decided not to name a team that used any other racial slur. I don’t understand why this should be any different.”
Donovan added that journalism aside, he thinks it “it inconceivable that the NFL still allows such a patently offensive name and mascot to represent the league in 2012.”
Sports blog Deadspin noted that: “A search for ‘Redskins’ on Kansascity.com (the Star‘s website) turns up about 150 results. For comparison’s sake, the same search on nytimes.com turns up about 55,000.”
USA Today wrote that “most of the references to Redskins on [the Star‘s] website are found in wire service stories.” iMediaEthics searched the Star’s website for “Redskins” and found a story published as recently as yesterday using the term both in the story. In total, our Oct. 4 search produced 147 results. See below.
According to an early September Washington Post report, a “group of Native Americans” have tried to get “federal authorities to strike down several of the team’s trademark registrations for ‘Redskins’ on the grounds that it is a racial slur.”
iMediaEthics has written previously about Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder’s libel lawsuit (that he later dropped) against the Washington City Paper.
iMediaEthics has written to the Washington Redskins seeking comment and will update with any response.
Hat Tip: Indian Country Today Media Network