Washington Post Editorial Board Shuns 'Redskins'

The Washington Post said in an editorial Saturday (Aug. 23) that it will no longer use the name "Redskins" for the Washington football team on its editorial page.

It will still appear in news reports and in letters to the editor on the page. "Unlike our colleagues who cover sports and other news, we on the editorial board have the luxury of writing about the world as we would like it to be," said the editorial, adding, "Nor do we intend to impose our policy on our readers."

But the paper said the name is an insulting slur and it won't use it per its policy towards other offensive language. "Everytime the R-word is used, something disrespectful happens."

There has been increasing calls from Washington political and regulatory types, principally Democrats, to change the name, but team owner Daniel Snyder has continued to resist them. Some fans, with the team's blessing, have countered that the name has a proud heritage, and some Native Americans have said it does not offend them, while others say it is clearly a slur. 

Former FCC chairman Reed Hundt is encouraging TV stations to stop using the name, saying if that happened Snyder would change it ASAP.

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus has said CBS, for one, will leave it up to its announcers and producers whether to use the name on its broadcasts. CBS this year picked up a new Thursday night package of games, which includes the Giants and Redskins Sept. 25. Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms reportedly has signaled he likely will avoid using the name.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.