SBD/October 3, 2012/Media

K.C. Star Defends Stance On Avoiding The Use Of "Redskins" In Publications

K.C. Star Public Editor Derek Donovan last week "felt the need to explain and defend" the newspaper's policy of avoiding the use of the word "Redskins" in print and online, according to Robert Klemko of USA TODAY. Donovan wrote in response to a reader complaint, "I remain unconvinced by every argument I've ever heard that the name is not a racial epithet, plain and simple. ... I see no compelling reason for any publisher to reprint an egregiously offensive term as a casual matter of course." Klemko noted the newspaper "rarely prints the word, and most of the references to Redskins on its website are found in wire service stories." The Chiefs and Redskins do not play each other this season, but they will "play in Washington next season, providing reason anew to talk about racial epithets and their place in pro sports" (, 10/2). L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, "They don't print other racial slurs, why should they print this one? And make no mistake, this is a racial slur." ESPN's Michael Smith said it does not feel like the paper's stance "is going to change anything." Smith: "If the Washington Post has not adopted this stance, if the NFL itself has not adopted this stance, then it's going to take a lot more than the Kansas City Star to exact change when it comes to the name of the Washington Redskins." ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said, "Let's start talking about this with Roger Goodell. Let's go back to the Washington Post and have them answer for this" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/2). Meanwhile,'s Dylan Murphy noted the "Chiefs" nickname is apparently a "reference to former mayor Harold 'The Chief' Bartle," but it is hard to "ignore the smidgen of hypocrisy" (, 10/2).
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