Sports website Deadspin says NFL announcers are using the term "Redskins" for Washington's football team "significantly less often" this season than last.
The team is under pressure from inside and outside Washington to change the name, which some Indian groups have labeled a dictionary-defined slur similar to the N-word.
Deadspin said it had compared the NFL TV broadcast scripts for the first two weeks of the 2014 and 2013 seasons, and that in 2014, "Redskins" was used 67 times, vs. 156 times for Washington. In 2013, Redskins had outpaced Washington 186 to 156.
It pointed out the higher volume in 2013 was probably because Washington played in the premiere Monday Night Game, which would have gotten much national play.
The Change the Mascot campaign, which this week called on league owners to pressure the team to change the name, welcomed the news.
“We are gratified that an increasing number of broadcasters are honoring our campaign by refusing to help Washington team officials slur Native Americans,” the campaign said in a statement.
The campaign is backed by the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians.
Also this week, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said she would introduce a bill to do away with the NFL's tax-exempt status because the league had not acted..
There has been plenty of activity in Washington on the Redskins name front, including a petition to deny a radio station owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder, letters from a host of Democratic senators calling for the name change, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel's expressions of concern over the name.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been fighting the name-change effort.
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