SBD/August 25, 2014/Franchises

With Redskins Debate Heating Up, Washington Post Editorial Board Stops Using Moniker

The Washington Post's editorial board on Friday announced that it will stop using the word Redskins, "joining a growing list of commentators who have renounced the term because they believe it disparages Native Americans," according to Annys Shin of the WASHINGTON POST. The editorial board "is separate from the news-gathering side of the organization, which Executive Editor Martin Baron said will continue to use the team’s moniker." The Post editorial board’s "stance against the name predates" Daniel Snyder’s ownership of the team. It "published its first editorial decrying it in 1992 but last used the name of the team in an Aug. 13 editorial." Redskins Senior VP/Communications Tony Wyllie said, "The editorial board has been opposed to the Washington Redskins name for more than 30 years" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/23).

TJ COULD TAKE A STAND: ESPN's Tom Jackson said he may "follow suit" and join NBC's Tony Dungy and CBS' Phil Simms in trying to avoid using the Redskins name on air. Jackson said, "It’s hard for me to believe that Native Americans see that as a term of endearment and respect. ... I don’t have the right to tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them. I don’t have the right to do that. And I don’t think that anybody’s who’s not Native American can tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/22). Meanwhile, ESPN's Mike Ditka last week indicated he did not support changing the Redskins moniker, but on Friday he admitted that he "would be willing to change his stance on the term 'if an American Indian says it’s offensive.'" Ditka: "If an American Indian says it’s offensive, that’s fine. I’m all for changing it. But I don’t want some liberal to come out and say, ‘this is wrong.’ It isn’t wrong" (SUNTIMES.com, 8/22).

SILENCE IS GOLDEN? In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports he "attempted to speak with Simms" regarding his stance, but Simms' rep, "without expanding, said he was 'unavailable.'" Simms and Dungy have "never met a microphone or camera they didn’t like," but in the "wake of their statements they went into mummy mode." Raissman: "Simms and Dungy probably believe they made their point. Or maybe the NFL, and or CBS/NBC, told them to lower the burner" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/25).
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