Charlotte Observer won’t use Washington name

Getty Images

As the 2014 regular season begins, another major newspaper has decided to use the nicknames of only 31 of the NFL’s teams.

The Charlotte Observer has opted to stop using the Washington name, with exceptions including stories about the name.  Several days ago, the New York Daily News did the same thing.

“We understand that the name is beloved by many, and we respect their affection for it,” Michael Persinger of the Observer explains.  “But consensus is growing that a nickname referring to the skin color of a race of people is no longer appropriate.”

The issue continues to polarize, with few still undecided.  And there’s no middle ground.  One side sees the word as a term of respect, despite it’s meaning when the “R” isn’t capitalized.  The other side sees the word as a slur, regardless of how the “R” is written.

One side believes it’s sufficient for some or most Native Americans to not be actually offended.  The other side believes it doesn’t matter whether anyone is actually offended, even though some Native Americans — including the National Congress of American Indians — clearly are.

One side thinks that the issue can be addressed by visiting reservations and caring about more practical issues facing Native Americans.  The other side sees that as a diversion from the more fundamental point:  If you truly care about Native Americans, you won’t refer to them with a name that even one Native American would reasonably regard as an insult.

Either way, the debate will continue until the name changes.  And the debate will likely continue long after the name changes — even if owner Daniel Snyder changes it to finagle public financing for a new RFK Stadium in D.C. proper.

24 responses to “Charlotte Observer won’t use Washington name

  1. Remember when journalists were impartial and only reported the facts as opposed to standing on a soapbox?

  2. It’s clearly racist but the name itself is only offensive to a very small minority. The real problem is if you are Native American and want to be thought of with respect to your race and culture, you want your identity never to be associated with that trainwreck of a losing culture they have in Washinton.

  3. This may come as a shock, but I don’t care about the name in and of itself. I do care that people who really should have better things to do are making a big deal about this, which is about a 1 on a scale of 1-100 on things that matter in life and are actually worth making a big deal about.

  4. It’s about time that the majority become vocal and stop utilizing these papers and stations that drop the name. Maybe they’ll learn that catering to the minority doesn’t pay off…

  5. Interesting. Looking forward to the accompanying article addressing the next newspaper that continues to use the Redskins’ nickname…oh, wait…the vast, overwhelming majority of newspapers will continue to use the nickname. That doesn’t quite fit with this particular “agenda”…never mind.

  6. After 80 some years they see the evil of the word Redskins as refered to a football team. How meanful!

  7. You deleted this before, so I’ll post again.

    If a nickname referring to the skin color of a group of people is no longer appropriate, “white” is no longer longer appropriate when referring to people of European descent.

    Does that sound ridiculous? That’s the same argument you’re making against the Redskins’ name!

  8. “But consensus is growing that a nickname referring to the skin color of a race of people…”

    Why is a ‘consensus’ (used in quotes because there is not proof of this consensus, just more lies) about an erroneous definition (it refers to warpaint, not skin color, except for racists) important, whereas a consensus of people (including a vast majority of Native Americans) not wanting to change the name is irrelevant?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.