Hasbro: Scrabble Players Association Agree to Ban Racial Slurs from Tournaments

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 8, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2009 file photo, Scrabble games are seen on display at Palo Alto Sport & Toy World in Palo Alto, Calif. News of a new version of the classic word game that Mattel plans to sell in the U.K. allowing proper nouns set off waves of dismay across the Internet. But the basic game isn't changing. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

The North American Scrabble Players Association will remove all racial slurs from its word list for official Scrabble tournaments.

Per David Waldstein of the New York Times, Hasbro has announced that the association "agreed to remove all slurs from their word list for Scrabble tournament play, which is managed solely by NASPA and available only to members."

Waldstein noted that the version of Scrabble sold in retail stores "has not included slurs in its dictionary since 1994," but the NASPA has permitted their use in competitive events.

NASPA chief executive John Chew told Jana G. Pruden of the Globe and Mail last month he petitioned the players' advisory board to consider banning racial slurs.

"To say, 'I have the right to use hate speech because I declare that it has no meaning'although a very popular opinion among Scrabble playersI don't think is defensible on any sort of logical or ethical basis," Chew said.

According to Waldstein, the decision could take as many as 226 offensive terms out of use in competitive Scrabble tournaments.

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