WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Washington Post’s editorial board has taken a definitive position on the Redskins team name, in discontinuing usage of the term it believes “disparages Native Americans.”
The Post’s editorial board, which operates separate from the paper’s news-gathering side, announced its action against the name on Friday.
“While we wait for the NFL to catch up with public opinion and common decency we have decided not to use the slur ourselves except when it is essential for clarity or effect,” the board said in a statement.
“Standard operating policy in the newsroom has been to use the names that established institutions choose for themselves,” the statement goes on. “That remains our policy, as we continue to vigorously cover controversy over the team’s name and avoid any advocacy role on this subject.”
“We’re a newspaper. We have to cover the world as it is,” Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt has said in the past, as noted by The Post, while also updating the editorial page’s belief, as represented through Hiatt. “That argument could not overcome our discomfort in using a slur.”
Hiatt points to growing “momentum” against the name as a further contributing factor to the page’s shift in position. “If we can contribute to it, that would make us happy.”
The editorial board’s announcement comes after a marked swing in government opposition to the name, most notably a ruling in June by the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to revoke the team’s six federally protected trademarks.
The Redskins have filed an appeal of the 2-1 ruling, to be heard in federal court, with the team maintaining its trademark protections in the meantime.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder recently defended his team’s name, saying on ESPN, “A Redskin is a football player. A Redskin is our fans. The Washington Redskins fan base represents honor, represents respect, represents pride.”
Read the full announcement here.
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