The editorial board of The Washington Post is going to refrain from using the Washington Redskins' team nickname amid growing calls for owner Daniel Snyder to change the moniker. The switch in policy only covers editorial articles, not the news or sports staffs.
In a post on the newspaper's site, the board notes that it's spoken out against the use of the Redskins label for more than two decades. The group says the nickname will now be handled like any other term considered offensive vocabulary:
The matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves. That's the standard we apply to all offensive vocabulary, and the team name unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too.
The board goes on to state that it doesn't believe Snyder, who hasn't shown a willingness to change the nickname despite ongoing criticism, or those who are against the switch have racist intent. But that doesn't change how the word is viewed by the Native American community.
The editorial board's decision comes just a couple days after the outlet's Mike Wise penned a story about longtime NFL official Mike Carey. Research showed he hadn't worked a game involving the Redskins since early in the 2006 season.
Carey recently moved into a role with CBS, and when reporters asked about the situation, he admitted he put in a request to be kept away from Washington games.
"It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me," Carey said.
While other news outlets have already made similar moves to remove the nickname from their papers, the fact that this one comes from a prominent paper that covers the team on a daily basis makes it unique. Whether the decision will eventually cover the entire staff is unknown.
Snyder doesn't seem ready to budge on the issue, and the NFL hasn't shown a willingness to step in to force a change. Whether these actions will alter the outlook from the team or the league is a mystery.