You won’t read about the Washington Redskins again in the Seattle Times.
Washington’s NFL team, yes; it’s controversial mascot, no.
Times sports editor Don Shelton banned the use of the nickname last week, he wrote in his blog.
It’s time to ban the use of “Redskins,” the absurd, offensive and outdated name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C.
Past time, actually.
We’ll probably receive scathing emails, letters, phone calls and reader comments telling me we’re too PC, that the name actually honors Native Americans or that we have no right to change a team’s official name.
Everyone’s entitled to an opinion – even if I don’t buy it.
We’re banning the name for one reason: It’s offensive. Far from honoring Native Americans, the term colors an entire race.
The Times already had a policy that severely limited the use of the name. For 20 years, Shelton said, the newspaper allowed it to appear only once per article and did not use it in headlines or photo captions.
But, he suggested, if it’s offensive enough to limit its use, it’s offensive enough to ban completely.
Well, almost completely. In stories that are about the controversy over the name, “Redskins” will be allowed so that readers know what the issue revolves around, Shelton wrote.
One Washington state high school – in Wellpinit, on the Spokane Indian Reservation – also uses the nickname. The Times will not print its name, either, Shelton said.
Other papers that have banned the name include the Portland Oregonian, the Kansas City Star, the Orange County Register and the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oregonian and Star banned it back in the 1990s.
- Vince Devlin