It’s not easy to cover an NFL team without ever mentioning its nickname. But that’s precisely what the Washington Post will do, from this point forward.
The editorial board of the Post has announced that it will stop using the team’s name, most of the time.
“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 newspaper said.
While it’s unclear why or how the Post would need to use the name for clarity or effect, it’s smart to leave a loophole, since the newspaper is in, you know, Washington. The broader loophole comes from the fact that the newsroom will keep using the name.
The Washington NFL team, through spokesman Tony Wyllie, called the move “no surprise.”
“The editorial board has been opposed to the Washington Redskins name for more than 30 years,” Wyllie said, inadvertently gutting one of the knee-jerk argument from the name truthers, who insist that opposition has arisen only recently. “We just wish they would have had taken us up on our offer to visit several reservations to see how much Native Americans embrace and value the name and use it as their own logo and mascots across this country.”
That position ignores the reality that the National Congress of American Indians actively opposes the name. Which is no surprise, since the franchise generally continues to ignore the fact that the NCAI actively opposes the name. If the franchise had simply ignored the debate in 2013 instead of attempting to engage or debunk it, the franchise probably wouldn’t be dealing with an issue that has now grown to the point where the editorial board of the biggest newspaper in the team’s market now refuses to use the name.