WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Matt Miller, the lead NFL and NFL Draft analyst for Bleacher Report, stopped using the team name ‘Redskins’ in his writing — in reference to the Washington Redskins — a year ago, but says people are just now noticing.
In a series of tweets fired off Thursday night, Miller reasserted his position on the team’s name, which he perceives to be “racist.” When asked, “It is the teams name and the nfl is standing behind it. Why omit it?” on Twitter, Miller responded, “Because I’m not a racist.”
Here are Miller’s tweets, for full context:
“I want to ask you about a tweet you had last night, which was, I think from a Redskins fan if memory serves, but basically said ‘Why are you omitting it?’ and you said ‘because I’m not a racist,'” Paulsen said. “Do you think if a broadcaster or writer is using it, that by using a “racist” term – that’s your opinion and a lot of people’s opinion at this point, by the way – that they’re being racist in some way?”
“Well, for me, I would be, because I have that personal conviction,” Miller said. “And I’ve talked to family members, friends of my family who are full-blooded Native American and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t use this word, and it’s something that our culture doesn’t like.’ So now that I know that, I feel like that would be a racist thing for me to use the nickname, just like it would be insensitive to use a homosexual slang term, or something derogatory towards blacks or Asians or Latinos.”
“It just kind of falls in the same way to me,” he said. “I don’t expect everyone to be that way, and I have a ton of respect for what you guys do, for a lot of my colleagues, and I would never say that one of them is a racist, but I would feel like I was if I started using the nickname after I kind of had this personal conviction that it’s not something I should be saying.”
Miller would go on to explain that family friend is his mother’s best friend, who is a full-blooded Native American from Oklahoma.
Asked whether he feels he’s a journalist, warranting his job prohibiting him from giving his opinion on a team name, because, as a journalist, asserting one’s opinion disrupts objectivity, Miller said, “I kind of fall in a weird category, because I do break some news regarding the draft, which would make me more of a reporter or a journalist, but largely I’m paid to be a guy who just gives his opinion – whether that’s watching game film and saying, ‘This is who I think will win this week’ or ‘this is the college player I think will be best in the NFL – it’s a lot of opinion.”
“So for me, I just don’t want to attach my name, my byline, or when I’m on video; it’s just not something I really want to attach my name to,” he said. “And it’s interesting to me, it’s actually only become a hot topic the last few weeks.
“I decided to stop using the team name a year ago, but I was getting so many emails, and tweets and comments on articles, that it was finally like, ‘Okay, I just need to put this rest again, because I don’t know if our readership has grown, and there are people who don’t follow me on Twitter, so they missed me saying last season that I wasn’t going to do this anymore.’ But it’s definitely something that, I just felt like – I’m not trying to you guys what to do, I’m not trying to tell my colleagues what to do – but just for me, personally, it’s just not something I want to be associated with.”
Miller’s not the first national football writer to omit the name in his work — Peter King notably stopped using the term on his Sports Illustrated branch-out site last August — and he likely won’t be the last.
Of writing the name ‘Redskins’ in stories, Miller went on to say, “I just can’t bring myself to do it.”